What are the long-term health and labour market outcomes of workers who experienced work-related COVID-19 transmission?

Reasons for the study

Canadians who have acquired COVID-19 at work likely experience unique circumstances that could influence how well they recover physically, how they fare emotionally, and their process of returning to the setting where their infection occurred. Yet, we know virtually nothing about the recovery experiences of workers with work-related COVID-19 infections. This represents an important knowledge gap for a vulnerable population subgroup. This project will fill this gap.

Objectives of the study

  • Survey a sample of workers who acquired COVID-19 in the course of their employment approximately 18 months after their initial absence from work. 
  • Determine the self-rated health and physical functioning of people who experienced work-related COVID-19 transmission, as well as the prevalence of depression and anxiety among them
  • Determine the proportion of people who experienced work-related COVID-19 transmission who are back at work and in the same occupation with the same employer
  • Determine what factors—at the system, workplace, health-care provider and individual level—are associated with health outcomes and return to work (RTW) following work-related COVID-19 transmission
  • Determine if health and RTW outcomes differ between workers who acquired COVID-19 at work compared to workers who sustained a non-COVID-19 work-related injury or illness around the same time, and also determine to what extent these differences can be explained by differences in the RTW process

Target audience

Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) and other primary prevention policy-makers; labour organizations; employers and their representatives; occupational health and disability management professionals

Project status


Research team

Collaborators and partners

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board

Funded by

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)