Introduction Supervisors of workers with mental health disorders (MHD) play a key role in the prevention of prolonged work absences. Providing appropriate workplace accommodation is one approach supervisors use to facilitate employees staying at work or returning to work early. People with MHD function well in the workplace when they are provided with appropriate work accommodations. Yet, we have little understanding of how factors influence the decision-making of supervisors to develop and provide work accommodations. Therefore, the objective of this study was to understand what factors determine whether workplace accommodations are supported and received from the perspective of supervisors and workers.
Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study of supervisors and workers from 30 randomly selected companies in Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario, Canada. Participating companies required a minimum of 50 employees. We distributed two separate surveys to each company: one to supervisors and one to workers. We asked all supervisors to complete a web-based survey including a case vignette of a worker with a mental health disorder and a number of scales assessing factors that may affect their decisions to provide workplace accommodations. We also asked all workers to complete a web-based survey indicating whether or not they suffer from a MHD and whether accommodations were offered. We also assessed individual perspectives and group-level information on the workplace, supervisor, and worker factors through additional scales on the surveys.
Results Data collection is expected to be completed in the fall, 2017. We have currently collected data from fourteen of the thirty companies including 130 supervisors and 330 workers. In our presentation, we will identify factors associated with supervisors’ decisions to accommodate workers with MHD.
Conclusion The findings will be important for all work disability prevention stakeholders as they will identify important targets for intervention to improve accommodations for workers with MHD.
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