Psychological Workplace Disability Management Assessments

By Dr. Jonathan Siegel, Psychologist


HR Proactive can provide psychological workplace disability management assessments for employers and insurance companies who want to assist employees in returning to work following stress leave. Psychological assessments provide objective information regarding the employee’s psychological status, both emotionally and cognitively, and their readiness to return to work. A psychological assessment can provide objective determination of the nature and extent of any psychological issues that will affect the employee’s motivation and ability to return to work. The assessment provides objective and comprehensive information about whether an employee can or cannot return to work, as well as strategies for assisting the individual to identify alternative work accommodations.


Mental illness-related disability claims (short-term and long term) account for up to one third of the workplace claims. According to Statistics Canada, disability related absences from the workplace represent anywhere from 4% to 12% of payroll costs in Canada. 20% of Canadian workers experience a stress related illness every year. In Canada, mental and behavioural disorders account for 25% of disease and injury.

Human rights legislation across Canada ensure that employees cannot be terminated due to a disability (physical or mental, actual or perceived) without the employer first taking steps to accommodate that disability, unless the nature and extent of the physical disability or mental disability reasonably precludes performance of a particular employment or activity. With respect to the leave of absence, there is no fixed rule as to how long a disabled employee may be absent before the duty to accommodate has been met. Human Rights Commissions and Tribunals indicate that this depends on the ability of the employee to perform the essential duties of the job. The inability of an employee to perform the duties of a job should not be determined without actually testing the ability of that person. Psychological assessments provide objective information regarding a person’s ability emotional and cognitive ability to work efficiently and productively.


Factors that must be considered in determining the ability of the employee to perform the essential duties of the job are: reliability in attending work; psychological ability to manage stress levels; fit between job requirements and the employee’s psychological resources to meet those requirements; the nature and type of accommodation that would be required given the employee’s psychological status. A psychological assessment to address the above is based on an interview, completion of self-report inventories, and measures of cognitive functioning. A comprehensive written report provides objective information about an employee’s readiness to return to work, and the type of accommodations that would be required, if necessary.


A psychological assessment would be conducted at the office of a psychologist. A written report would be released upon consent of the employee. The psychological report can provide objective, third party information regarding the nature and extent of psychological impairments, and their effect or impact on the employee’s ability to return to work.

Call HR Proactive at 1 (888) 552-1155 to discuss this service.