Income security and labour-market engagement: Envisioning the future of work disability policy in Canada

Institute for Work & Health
481 University Avenue, Suite 800
Toronto, Ontario

Emile Tompa
Senior Scientist
Institute for Work & Health
Dr. Ellen MacEachen
Institute for Work & Health

Work disability is an issue that touches most people at some point over their lifetime. Increasingly, policy-makers, employers, labour organizations, disability communities and academics are realizing that labour force productivity and output are contingent on the inclusion of all adults who can and want to work, regardless of ability status. But the backdrop of this recognition is a fragmented Canadian work disability policy system, comprised of a variety of support programs that were developed in a different historical context and to meet different needs. Due to conflicting requirements across different programs such as social assistance, workers’ compensation and employment insurance, people are shuffled from one to another and often fall through the cracks.

In this plenary IWH senior scientists Drs. Emile Tompa and Ellen MacEachen describe the new Centre for Research in Work Disability Policy, recently launched to address work disability policy challenges through a seven-year SSHRC Partners grant. They describe the centre’s mandate and how it's organized to create a new generation of research on work disability policy.

About presenter

Photo of Emile Tompa

Dr. Emile Tompa is a senior scientist at the Institute for Work & Health. He holds appointments as an associate professor in the Department of Economics at McMaster University and as an assistant professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. He is also co-director of the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy, a seven-year initiative funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Partnership Grant.

About IWH Speaker Series

The IWH Speaker Series brings you the latest findings from work and health researchers from the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) and other Canadian and international academic institutions around the world. For those unable to attend in person or via live stream, most presentations in the IWH Speaker Series are audio-recorded and made available as slidecasts, typically within two weeks of the original presentation.