Leading with Science®
Tetra Tech’s scientists and engineers are
developing sustainable solutions for the
world’s most complex projects. With over 3,500
employees in Canada and 17,000 associates
worldwide, we have grown to become one of
North America’s largest engineering firms.
CCIL Materials testing laboratories
2252 2nd Avenue
Unit 20 – 3942 Burron Avenue
important to have employees that fully understand
the importance of having an open dialogue
and training on mental health. Courses are
available through the University of Fredericton
and the Canadian Centre for Occupational
Health and Safety (CCOHS) for a cost, for
examples. Employers must also realize that even
though staff may be trained to discuss mental
health, that training does not replace a licensed
mental health professional.
Return to work and
Employers need to ensure their return to work
policy includes mental health. Mental health injuries
need to be treated in the same manner as
a physical injury – the employer needs to know
the restrictions in order to accommodate. From
a wellness perspective, it is very important for
a worker to return to work as soon as possible.
There is a lot of evidence that tells us that the
longer a worker is away from the workplace, the
less likely they are to return to work.
A great example of an accommodation: a
bank teller who was held up by a robber, and
thus having endured significant stress, may have
restrictions upon returning to work such as not
working with the public or working at a different
Employers should not be afraid of mental
health claims as they are obligated under “Duty
to Accommodate” legislation, which is federal
labour law. The only thing employers can ask for
is restrictions; you cannot ask questions about
anything else pertaining to the claim, including
whether there was a formal diagnosis. The most
important thing is for employees to understand
that you can accommodate them if they are injured,
whether it is psychologically or physically.
Restrictions are expected in order for the
employer to accommodate.
If you have employees that do not follow
your return to work policy, then it becomes a
coaching and/or HR issue. The biggest mistake
employers make is not communicating with employees.
It is very important to have an open dialogue
about mental health and to listen to your
employees. Employees need to know that if they
have a mental health issue that they will not be
judged or criticized, and that their employer is
there to support them and to assist them in getting
the help they need.
Employees need to feel comfortable that
if they are having a mental health issue that
they can get the help they need either through
their EFAP or the WCB (if the cause of the issue
is work-related). All of us experience mental
health issues at one time or another in our
lives. Hopefully, when the time arises, employers
are fully prepared for mental health in the
workplace. Our most important resource is our
employees, so their health should be a priority
as mental health affects all of us!
The most important thing is for employees to
understand that you can accommodate them if they
are injured, whether it is psychologically or physically. BIALASIEWICZ/123RF
58 Think BIG | Quarter 1 2020 | saskheavy.ca