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Topic: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities

Messages (47) Visitors (26131)


bruce.robinson
Member since 04/24/2012
Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/07/2012 / 1:15 pm    #26

We've had success with flexible working hours arrangements (when possible), depending on the job. Graduated return to work, approved leaves of absence and job sharing have also been successful.

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pat.kelley
Member since 05/01/2012
Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/09/2012 / 8:53 am    #27

I think the main thing to consider is that your policies actually reflect the accomodations needed by staff living with eposodic disabitlies so they should be consulted and help develop the policies
having policies that do not work is not very effective
reviewing policies annually with affected staff in order to update any changes is key to effective policies
also consulting outside agancies for information is also a key to successful policies and shows your employees that you are committed to making the workplace totally accessable to everyone


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monica.seymour
Member since 04/12/2012
Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/13/2012 / 10:21 pm    #28

Organizational policies should follow legislative requirements, but should also consider what specific operational concerns there are and how someone with an episodic disabiility will receive support in the face of not being able to meet an operational concern. For example, if providing a flexible schedule will really be difficult in a specific position, then how will the organization address this and work with the person experiencing an episodic disability. Getting input from supervisors, employees, and employees who have identified themselves as having an episodic disability may help. In addition, making use of community organizations who educate on disabilities would help to shed light on issues they know employees face and how they can be addressed in organizational policies.



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pat.kelley
Member since 05/01/2012
Re: Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/14/2012 / 8:05 am    #29

the first thing before developing organizational polices would be to consult the employees and determine needs of all including those living with episodic disabilties
after developing polcies it is key to communicate to managers and employess
a review yearly is needed to update changes



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melissa.popiel
Member since 04/03/2012
Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/14/2012 / 2:34 pm    #30

What challenges have you encountered in discussing episodic disability issues in the workplace?

Quelles difficultés avez-vous rencontrées lors des discussions à propos des invalidités épisodiques en milieu de travail?


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joan.barbeau
Member since 04/24/2012
Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/16/2012 / 4:51 pm    #31

I feel that continuous review of all policies ensuring that they meet the legislation requirements and also addressing the needs of employees is necessary. An alternative work arrangement policy could greatly assist individuals. A policy on working off-site (at home) and a policy to provide the necessary equipment required to assist the employee could be beneficial and address the needs of someone living with an episodic disability. Most organizations have policies for time off for appointments, leave of absences etc. however, these may have to be reviewed for particular employees. A graduated return to work schedule would be initiated by the insurance carrier on behalf of the individual, however, this could continue once the disability is discontinued. I think flexibility on the part of the employer in implementing and addressing the policies is necessary.

One of the work challenges that I recently encountered in discussing episodic disability issues was that a supervisor did not understand the challenge that the employee was having in a return to work situation after being away from the office for approximately 18 months. I encouraged an open dialogue and advised of the organization's views on accommodation - our duty and willingness to accommodate the employee in the manner that was required. The supervisor then became more understanding and willing to comply with our policies on this issue. We have an extremely accommodating senior management group.

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monica.seymour
Member since 04/12/2012
Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/20/2012 / 9:44 pm    #32

The challenges I've had relate to how others view episodic disability and their knowledge surrounding it, in addition to my own. I am also on a learning curve so am understanding more and more what I need to address in the workplace and what I can do to be proactive.

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katherine.ehrhardt
Member since 05/05/2012
Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/22/2012 / 5:04 pm    #33

The biggest challenge I have noticed in regards to discussing episodic disabilities in the workplace is due to people's lack of understanding or awareness of disabilities as a whole. The stigma that encompasses it is challenging. I work as a job developer and represent individuals with disabilities, and have spoken to many employers who are simply not interested in hiring an individual from our organization due to fear of the unknown. In these cases we must dispell the myths and really focus on what real concerns are. Often times the concerns are not relevant to the individual we wish to present for the job. It is important for employers to be comfortable with individuals with disabilities, and when in doubt to find out more information, legally and ethically, without asking offensive or unethical questions. They are often pleasantly surprised when they discover that people with episodic disabilities are not much more difficult to accomodate than some of their regular unreliable or unmotivated staff!


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melissa.popiel
Member since 04/03/2012
Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/22/2012 / 5:32 pm    #34

What other supports (internal or outside the workplace) have helped you support employees living with episodic disabilities?

Quels autres supports (à l'interieur ou à l'extérieur du lieu de travail) vous ont aidé à soutenir les employés qui vivent avec des invalidités épisodiques?


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pat.kelley
Member since 05/01/2012
Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/23/2012 / 7:33 am    #35

the biggest challenge I face is getting staff to even talk about it
I find that the older staff do not want to talk about it, maybe for fear of being let go? most of my staff are older, and maybe are not aware how HR has changed over the years
I am planning on having another staff meeting and discussing this


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joan.barbeau
Member since 04/24/2012
Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/25/2012 / 1:34 pm    #36

We have used the Rehabilitation Consultant assigned by the benefit carrier to our employees with episodic disabilities returning to the workforce. I meet with them and the employee when the schedule is initially designed and also remain in contact throught the return to work plan. I also am in touch with the Case Manager on an ongoing basis and identify required changes to schedules or advocate for more assistance for the person returning to the work environment . We also use specific individuals/organizations to perform ergonomic assessments when required. We also request that these representatives assist our employees in utilizing the prescribed equipment in the manner intended. We have also requested a professional from our Employee Assistance program to assist the organization in accommodating an employee living with an episodic disability. We have a personal coach available to all employees, and this is offered to employees living with episodic disabilities. Internally we work with the employee's immediate supervisor and the Senior Management Team to ensure that we are supporting the employee living with the episodic disability. We also take the time to check in and ensure the employee is adjusting as they feel more comfortatble and ensure any training is supplied for the person that they may require. We request feedback on an ongoing basis.

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pat.kelley
Member since 05/01/2012
Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/25/2012 / 1:48 pm    #37

great idea to get benefit carrier to provide speaker, never thought of that
will have to call my provider to see what they can do!!

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monica.seymour
Member since 04/12/2012
Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/26/2012 / 1:51 am    #38

I agree that it's a great idea to have someone from the EFAP program to come and talk to staff.

In addition to the EFAP and health benefits provider being a big help, other supports include the union and the employer's association who provide timely advice on setting up RTW/GRTW schedules and accommodations.


Modification count : 1
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bruce.robinson
Member since 04/24/2012
Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/27/2012 / 8:15 am    #39

An organization should have, or develop a Modified or Early Return to work policy. Input from HR, workers with disabilities, managers and any insurance company involved are important. Annual reviews always needed to ensure any policy is kept current and applicable.

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bruce.robinson
Member since 04/24/2012
challenges in discussing episodic disabilities at workplace
05/27/2012 / 8:21 am    #40

My place of business provides direct support to persons with disabilities. Therefore, the concept of support and accomodation for someone with a disability is entrenched in our business. However, our staff sometimes provide heavy physical support and need to be physically able to do their job. There has been some difficulty in both educating staff about episodic disability and providing modified work programs to staff, when the other staff need to sometimes work harder to compensate.
Another difficulty has been in trying to educate staff when the person with the episodic disability has refused to share or release any information due to their right to privacy.

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bruce.robinson
Member since 04/24/2012
Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/27/2012 / 8:32 am    #41

I have received some excellent supports recently from both the union that represents our staff and our STD/LTD insurance company. The union is wanting to see its members treated well, including the the person with the episodic disability and the staff who need to be flexible in order to accomodate. I have a union rep. available for all return to work meetings. Our insurance company provides an excellent return to work specialist who has been very helpful.
I have also used many outside sources (including this course!!) to assist me with my development of policy, procedure and training.

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rbendix
Member since 07/21/2011
Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/27/2012 / 10:20 pm    #42

Hello all,
Recently, we went through many of our policies and procedures to ensure they were up-to-date; specifically, around encouraging and embracing all forms of diversity. It was a refreshing and empowering process.
Also, there are many excellent community and social services agencies focused on support people with varying types of episodic disabilities in my geographic area; however, I am certain there are others and additional types of organizations / resources I still not be aware of. This seems like an area that many HR / organizations under utilize; in that, these agencies provide community education to employees at relatively not cost, while building understanding and respect for people living with episodic and/or other disabilities.
RB




Modification count : 1
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katherine.ehrhardt
Member since 05/05/2012
Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/29/2012 / 2:24 pm    #43

Question: In what ways should organizational policies reflect the needs of people living with episodic disabilities?

-Policies should be positive and promote accomodation. Some policies that would reflect the needs of employees with episodic disabilities could include allowing the employee to make phone calls to their support systems during work hours, permit a self paced workload, allow sick leave to include emotional concerns as well as physical, allow working from home when possible, create job sharing policies, allow for overtime that can be banked and used during a time of sickness and other policies to promote accomodation in a positive manner.


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katherine.ehrhardt
Member since 05/05/2012
Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/29/2012 / 2:31 pm    #44

Question- What other supports (internal or outside the workplace) have helped you support employees living with episodic disabilities?

We value an interdisciplinary team and see the benefit in all working together. Our employment agency tries to remain in close contact with other community support agencies with whom we have mutual clients to assist with monitoring and supporting the illnesses whilst we are helping them to find work. We find it beneficial to know when doctors have changed medication levels etc. We work in partnership with the social services agencies that work with the individuals to assist them on a personal and counselling level whilst we on our end assist them with their job. We work as a team with different members (external to the workplace) focusing on different aspects of the individual's life in our own areas of speciality to make sure we are providing the best practices to support the individual with an episodic disability.

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pat.kelley
Member since 05/01/2012
Re: Re: Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
05/29/2012 / 3:14 pm    #45

if I had to contact someone I would call on our local social service network
there are many agencies in our city that deal with these issues on a daily basis and would be a great resource when needed

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janet.o'neill
Member since 06/09/2012
Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
06/09/2012 / 12:52 pm    #46

On this topic I am doing a survey as part of my dissertation on sickness absence and the potential of an independant assessment service for those with health issues at work - I need as many HR/employer responses as possible as I am hoping the results will inform UK policy

it only takes a few minutes

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RXMW3VZEmployers

thank you very much

Janet

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nancy.mwangi
Member since 08/23/2012
Re: Managing employees living with episodic disabilities
08/23/2012 / 12:12 pm    #47

This is an interesting and challenging question. In my experience a procedure is put in place and it varies from company to company. Temporary Staff can be brought in or workloads can be distributed between relevant teams. I think the most important thing to bear in my as a HR professional is how best you handle any grievences that may occur from the impact of those employees living with episodic disabilities. This can put additional strain on any group's workload and could raise questions concerning overtime pay. Manging the employee themselves really comes down to what has been agreed and what is most condusive for the employee themselves in terms of managing their own lives. It can be extremely handy for example to undertake an additional course on a subject like life coaching. This can sharpen any skills that my be rusty and enable you to attain excellent interpersonal skills assertaining what may work best of the person(s) in quesiton.


Hope this helps.

Nancy Mwangi
Ambassador for Noble Manhattan


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Messages 26-47 of 47
 
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