Strategies for the Successful Return to Work of Linguistic Minorities
Stephanie Premji, McMaster University
Ellen MacEachen, University of Waterloo
Agnieszka Kosny, University of Toronto
Evidence suggests that linguistic minorities experience particular difficulties returning to work following a work-related injury or illness (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, 2012). Our two-year project will identify and address the problems that may be complicating their recovery and return to work (RTW). It will touch upon the entire work reintegration continuum, including health care, assessments, work transition, and vocational rehabilitation, and recognize the crucial role of key stakeholders throughout the process, namely workers’ compensation, health care providers, workplace parties and worker representatives. We define successful return to work as timely, appropriate and sustainable RTW. Our project will produce practical, accessible guidance for stakeholders on ways to identify and solve problems related to language barriers in their specific contexts, and aimed at promoting linguistic minority workers’ opportunities for a successful return-to-work. Potential practical benefits include: improved service delivery, more adequate support in the early stages and throughout the work reintegration process, more accurate assessments/evaluations, more effective work transition, more appropriate education and training, and better health and employment outcomes.