Accommodation

The health and well-being of faculty and staff members is a priority at Western. The University is committed to supporting employees who are experiencing occupational and non-occupational illness, injury and disabilities. We support a collaborative, proactive approach to help employees to stay at work or to safely return to work following an illness or injury.

Below, you will find information about our Transitional Accommodation Program (TAP).

Important note regarding workplace accidents and illness: Whenever you suffer a workplace accident or illness, or experience a close call, the situation must be reported. Please visit the Accident/Illness/Incident Reporting webpage to learn more.

Goals

  • To support employees to remain at work or to safely return to work when experiencing illness or injury so that employees may fully contribute to the workplace
  • To fulfill our legislative obligations with respect to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, the Ontario Human Rights Code, and the Employment Equity Act
  • To minimize the monetary and pscyhological costs associated with disability in our organization

How to request accommodation

Employees may request an accommodation at any time. Accommodation requests usually begin when an employee notifies the University, usually the manager or Chair, or the designated Health & Well-being Consultant, that due to illness, injury or disability, they cannot perform the essential duties of their job. Timely communication will allow planning to begin and any necessary supports to be provided.

View contact information and determine your unit’s Health & Well-being Consultant

Medical Information and Documentation

Medical documentation and information will be required by Employee Well-being staff when accommodation is requested. Your Well-being representative will ask you to take two documents to your treating practitioner for this purpose:

Your treating practitioner may provide you with the completed form or he/she may choose to fax it directly to Employee Well-being.

Note: If you must seek immediate medical treatment prior to informing Employee Well-being and outside of our core service hours (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), please take a copy of the Functional Accommodation Form and Dear Treating Practitioner letter with you. Then, please notify your Employee Well-being representative at your earliest convenience.

Western may also request medical updates at frequent intervals in order to:

  • Confirm progression toward treatment goals
  • Identify opportunities for additional treatment interventions
  • Identify supportive measures such as job coaching
  • Identify capabilities and precautions
  • Compare capabilities and precautions with usual position to facilitate safe accommodation

Types of accommodation

There are a number of approaches to accommodation or work modification, depending on a various factors including the type of injury or illness, the severity, and the duties you must perform as part of your job. In order of priority with respect to the approaches that will be considered, an individual may:

  • Remain in their own position
  • Remain in their own position with accommodation
  • Perform alternate duties within their department or unit
  • Perform alternate duties outside of their department or unit

Roles and shared responsibilities

Employee

  • Promptly reports illness/injury to identify accommodation needs
  • Provides consent for Employee Well-being to communicate with treating practitioners regarding capabilities and precautions
  • Participates fully in the development, implementation and evaluation of the TAP, including regular follow up with Employee Well-being
  • Promptly communicates to supervisor that there has been a change in status and provides follow-up to Employee Well-being
  • Promptly seeks medical attention as indicated and participates in appropriate treatmenas recommended by the treating practitioner
  • Works within recommended capabilities and precautions

Supervisor

  • Provides a supportive environment for employee and his/her co-workers
  • Provides input regarding employee's position and potential modified duties
  • Participates fully in the development, implementation and evaluation of the TAP
  • Attends TAP meetings as required

Employee Well-being

  • Provides support to employee and his/her co-workers
  • Obtains, clarifies and evaluates medical information
  • Maintains medical information in a confidential manner
  • Benchmarks the treatment plan and TAP goals with disability guidelines
  • Identifies opportunities for additional treatment interventions, assessments and supports and works with treating practitioners to arrange same
  • Maintains communication with all parties including the employee, the employee association/union, treating practitioners and external insurers (with consent)

Human Resources (Staff Relations)

  • Provides support to Dean or Budget Unit Head in exploring alternative work arrangements
  • Explores alternative long or short term accommodated work outside of home unit
  • Liaises with Employee Association/Unions when necessary

Employee Association/Union

  • Provides support to employee and members throughout process
  • Participates fully in the development, implementation and evaluation of the TAP

Co-workers

Where an employee is aware of a co-worker's accommodation needs, will endeavor to create a supportive environment

Treating Practitioner

  • Provides timely access to appropriate investigation and treatment
  • Provides functional abilities information to facilitate early and safe return to work and return to full productivity

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board

  • Works together with all parties toward a shared goal of early and safe return to work and full productivity
  • manages and monitors the claim
  • provides education and assistance to Employee, Employer and Workplace (for further information please visit the WSIB Ontario website)

Confidentiality

Medical information is held in the strictest confidence within Employee Well-being. Only capabilities and precautions may be shared with workplace parties in order to facilitate a safe and appropriate accommodation plan.

Read confidentiality guidelines

Resources


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