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Arthritis Consumer Experts is Looking for Canada’s Best Workplace for Employees Living with Arthritis

May 1, 2014

VANCOUVER, May 1, 2014 /CNW/ – Successful organizations are paying more
attention to the needs of employees living with arthritis, underlining
the significant role 4.6 million Canadians living with arthritis have
in the work force and economy. Today at the 2014 Canadian Life and
Health Insurance of Canada Annual Claims Conference in Quebec City,
Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) announced a nationwide search for best
arthritis strategies and practices in the Canadian workplace as part of
the official launch of the Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis program 2014.

“A workplace environment that embraces the needs of people living with
arthritis and provides private insurance plans that give timely,
equitable access to medications and other treatments is good for
business health,” says Cheryl Koehn, Founder and President, Arthritis
Consumer Experts. She added: “Today we call on businesses that are
taking positive steps to address arthritis in their workplaces to
apply.”

ACE’s scientific partner, the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada (ARC),
will assist in the selection process. According to ARC’s Scientific
Director, Dr. John Esdaile, there is a strong correlation between best
arthritis practices in the workplace and business success: “Employers
that make it easier for people with arthritis to thrive in their
careers, and in the process also improve productivity and reduce costs
associated with absenteeism and presenteeism, should be recognized.”

Arthritis in the workplace

Arthritis is the most common cause of work disability in Canada and
typically occurs during prime working years, between ages 35-50. The
impact of arthritis costs the Canadian economy more than $6.4 billion
annually. Lost workdays due to long-term disability account for
approximately two-thirds of this total.

One in six Canadians has osteoarthritis (OA). That number is expected to
rise to 1 in 3 Canadians by 2020. One out of every 136 Canadian workers
lives with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but that will increase to 1 in 68
workers by 2020. Within ten years of the onset of RA, up to 50% of
employees living with RA are work disabled if left under- or
un-treated.

Dr. Diane Lacaille of the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada has
conducted studies to determine what workplace factors are closely
linked to the risk of a work disability lasting six months or longer.
She found that high physical demand, low job independence (i.e. minimal
control over the pace of work and how duties are performed) and poor
support from co-workers aggravated arthritis symptoms and accounted for
longer absences from work.

Is your company a candidate for Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees
Living with Arthritis program?

The application process will deliver insights to further strengthen
Canadian companies’ approaches to creating a more productive and
arthritis friendly workplace. It is an opportunity for companies to
assess their awareness of arthritis and support systems for employees
living with the disease. ACE will employ wide-ranging criteria from
which to judge and recognize Canadian companies’ best arthritis
strategies and practices in the workplace. Categorizing companies by
size (small, medium and large), ACE will conduct employee surveys,
which are taken anonymously, and analyze company practices and programs
compared to other candidate companies based on criteria such as
workstation adaptability, flexible hours, employee education, and
benefit plans.

The deadline for applications is 5:00 p.m. EST on July 31, 2014 and
winners will be announced during Arthritis Awareness Month in September
2014.

To determine if your company is eligible for Canada’s Best Workplaces
for Employees Living with Arthritis program, please contact chan@jointhealth.org.

About Arthritis Consumer Experts

Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) provides science-based information,
education and support programs to people with arthritis to help them
take control of their disease and improve their quality of life. ACE
actively advocates on arthritis health issues through ACE’s
JointHealth(TM) family of programs and the National Arthritis Awareness
Program. Please visit jointhealth.org, join us on http://www.facebook.com/ACEJointHealth, follow us on Twitter @ACEJointHealth or download our free app http://bit.ly/GetArthritisIDPRO.

SOURCE Arthritis Consumer Experts


Source: PR Newswire



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