Canadians on disability return to work sooner than desired

More workers claim being pressured by employers to come back to work

Canadians on disability return to work sooner than desired

As many as seven in 10 Canadians on average have needed downtime from work at some point in order to recover from a disability – but a similar percentage of workers also say going on extended disability leave could be detrimental to their finances.

A new study from RBC Insurance Services showed 67% of Canadians believe they would face serious financial consequences if they were to pull away from work for three months. Among those who have been on disability leave:

  • 56% say they returned to work sooner than desired because of the financial setback caused by their absence;
  • 45% say they returned to work sooner than desired because they were pressured by their employer to come back early (up 33% from last year)

Employees in need of downtime, however, cite the following as being crucial to their recovery:

  • Support from family and friends (92%)
  • Proper financial assistance (91%)
  • Workplace support (87%)

Overall, just half of the Canadian workforce has coverage for disability, whether as part of their employee benefits or personal insurance coverage.

“With half the working population without disability coverage, many Canadians are exposing themselves to financial risk,” said Maria Winslow, senior director of life and health at RBC Insurance.

Winslow said it is “troublesome to see an inverse trend” between the number of workers who need time for recovery and those who actually maximise their benefits or have the financial resources to allow them to go on leave.

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