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HRPA offers HR managers guidance on managing episodic disability

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The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA), in partnership with the Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation (CWGHR), recntly launched a new, on-demand interactive online course called Managing Episodic Disabilities to help HR professionals better understand the current systemic barriers and promote opportunities for employees with "episodic disabilities."

"Episodic disability" describes conditions such as multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, lupus, Hepatitis C, some forms of mental illness, cancers and arthritis that may be lifelong and include alternating episodes of illness and wellness.

The course is being offered in response to a 2006 HRPA survey of almost 500 certified HR professionals, which indicated that:

  • Over 70 per cent can't identify cases of employees with episodic disability.
  • 60 per cent would like more knowledge on how to manage cases of employees with episodic disabilities.

"The challenge for HR managers is to balance the financial health of the company while accommodating people with episodic disabilities, and this can be complicated," says Bill Greenhalgh, CEO, HRPA. "This course is designed to provide some guidance and clarification so that HR professionals are better equipped to manage employees who are living with these illnesses."

 "CWGHR's research has shown that there are many people living with episodic disabilities who are able and eager to work," says Eileen McKee, manager episodic disabilities initiative, CWGHR. "Human resources professionals are in a position to play a pivotal role in informing and contributing to the solutions that will increase the opportunities for people living with episodic disabilities to participate in the labour force helping to address Canada's looming labour shortage."

Managing Episodic Disabilities is a self-paced, self-directed course that will take approximately 15 hours to complete. The content will help HR professionals understand the impact of episodic disability on workplace participation, earnings and disability income support. In addition, the course offers insights on accommodation strategies. 

Registrants will also learn about relevant legislation on human rights-based practices and how to assess workplace requirements in five key areas, including: awareness and leadership, planning and sourcing, selection and hiring, staff development and creating an inclusive environment.

To register for Managing Episodic Disabilities call 416-513-0440, extension 236, or email info@hivandrehab.ca for more information. Reduced rates are available for CWGHR and/or HRPA members.

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