Although there are excellent adjudicators, it does happen when
an adjudicator errs on the side of caution by paying out a claim
without doing any extra diligence, which is required by their job
Workplace safety boards are notoriously understaffed, which is
why some companies have decided to hire private investigators or
require a second medical opinion, in order to put an extra eye on
Recommendation: Be proactive and chat with your STD claims
adjudicator. Ask them what their practices are, and see if there’s
any room in the budget for requiring a second medical opinion
(can be $500 to $2,000).
6. FRONT-LINE MANAGEMENT MIGHT NOT
HAVE A SOLID HANDLE ON THE DETAILS
Do your front-line mangers know what to do in the event of a
claim? Do they realize how much it costs the company? It may
seem obvious, but many are not trained on the specifics of how
E.I., worker’s compensation and STD interact.
Crisp says that STD claims plummeted when two things hap-pened:
one, WSIB and STD claims were deducted from store
managers’ budgets; and two, managers were required to call em-ployees
and ask them how they are feeling. Once they showed
genuine concern for the employee, they saw that people were re-turning
to work faster and had fewer follow-up claims.
Recommendation: Hold yearly training seminars, complete
with dummy forms, of what to do if one of their employees gets
sick. Educate them on the hard costs of a claim, and consider
deducting it from their budget. Require that managers call em-ployees
to ask how they are feeling, and make it clear that it must
be a genuine call.
7. HOLIDAYS ARE APPROACHING, AND
EMPLOYEES DON’T FEEL AS IF THEY’RE
GIVEN ENOUGH VACATION TIME
Summer is busy season for Beneplan’s STD adjudication de-partment,
and Crisp has noticed that Mondays and Fridays have
a third more sick claims than other days of the week. We have
seen many situations when an employee was denied extra vacation
time, only to see them submit an STD claim when it came down
to the wire.
Crisp remembers a time when one employee took 10 Mondays
off and was then disciplined for it. He eventually admitted that he
had a drinking problem. The union subsequently intervened, since
alcoholism is an illness, and the company had to retroactively pay
him back for the suspension. “The employer could have nipped it
in the bud by simply asking the employee how they felt, and if
there’s anything they can do – from there, they could have sent
them to rehab without launching a grievance.”
Recommendation: Reconsider whether you can allow the em-ployee
to take some extra vacation, even if it’s unpaid. If you
absolutely cannot give the time off, and they do end up making a
claim, make it very clear that you care about their wellbeing, but
that any disingenuous claim will have consequences.
We can help
you put it
Creating and maintaining a psychologically
healthy and safe workplace can seem like
a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.
Practical tools and resources can help you
get started, assess your current situation,
or take the next step.
We can help you put it all together and
work towards a psychologically healthy
and safe workplace.
ALL TOOLS AND RESOURCES ARE FREE.
Use them to help make a difference
in your workplace.
The Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace and design
are trademarks of The Great-West Life Assurance Company.
44 ❚ JULY/AUGUST 2014 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL