JointHealth™ express   November 13, 2015

Arthritis Consumer Experts Recognizes Canada's Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis for 2015
Simon Fraser University, L'Oréal Canada and High Liner Foods lead the way for best arthritis workplace practices in Canada

Canadian employers, working with their private health insurers, are increasingly looking for ways to promote patient-focused prevention, treatment and management of chronic disease as part of a health and wellness program for employees. To recognize the best arthritis practices and most innovative initiatives to raise arthritis awareness, Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) today announced the winners of its second annual search for Canada's Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis.

Based on workplace insights shared by employees and company managers, ACE is awarding these Canadian companies for their best arthritis practices in the workplace and commitment to investing in employee health and well-being:
  • Large workplace – Simon Fraser University
  • Medium workplace - L'Oréal Canada
  • Small workplace – High Liner Foods
"We congratulate our award winners who benefit enormously from having healthy, productive employees and reducing absenteeism and presenteeism and other health-related costs. One of the most engaging aspects of our program is how it reveals the evolution of corporate Canada's arthritis awareness and prevention and treatment practices. The transparency of our nomination and interview process helps shine a light on progressive employers, while allowing other organizations to discover, and hopefully emulate, what they are doing well in terms of arthritis best practices," said Cheryl Koehn, President, Arthritis Consumer Experts.

Koehn added: "Based on our experience the past two years running this program, we are finding there is a ripple effect where employers appear to learn from one another, creating new internal practices and, in some cases, appropriately raising expectations for arthritis education in the workplace."

Commenting on ACE's award program, managers at the winning companies shared the view that creating a healthy workplace is no easy task in today's demanding work environment. These companies cited the organizational benefits of a healthy workplace, including reduced health care costs, improved productivity, and increased employee attraction and retention.

"We are honored to be recognized by ACE as one of Canada's Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis," said Dario Nonis, Executive Director, Human Resources, Simon Fraser University. "One of Simon Fraser University's (SFU) important goals is to maintain a healthy workplace for all employees. We recognize that our employees are our most valuable asset. Paying attention to employee well-being helps individual employees, and also strengthens the organization as a whole."

At L'Oréal Canada, we take great pride in offering the best quality health and wellness benefits to all our employees. This is reflected especially in our Share and Care program, which aims to offer security and protection to each and every L'Oréal employee, based on standards of social excellence. The objective of our Share and Care program is to offer the best benefits in four areas: social protection, health, parenthood and quality of life at work. This program is a true reflection of our commitment to our employees and their well-being," said Eva Azoulay, Vice-President, Human Resources, L'Oréal Canada.

"High Liner Foods recognizes and supports the importance of balancing work, life and wellness. In support of this balance, High Liner Foods offers various health and wellness policies and programs, including our flex benefit plan, which gives employees options based on their individual life circumstances and needs," said Joanne Brown, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, High Liner Foods.

In the second year of the program that recognizes the best arthritis practices of leading companies throughout Canada, ACE received more than 60 submissions. Many of the nominated companies, including L'Oreal Canada and SFU, cover 100 percent of the cost of their employees' health care premiums. At the same time, the vast majority of nominated companies also continue to cover a wide variety of other health benefits. More than 9 in 10 top workplaces offer dental, vision, mental health, and prescription drug coverage as well as coverage for alternative treatments such as acupuncture and chiropractic care. As health care costs creep up, more of the nominated top workplaces are also offering health and wellness screenings and other incentives to keep employees fit and feeling good.

About Canada's Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis Consumer Experts

Canada's Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis is a national campaign to help employers better understand arthritis in the workplace and recognize companies who offer exceptional work environments for their employees living with arthritis. Through a rigorous selection process using wide-ranging criteria, Arthritis Consumer Experts evaluates Canadian small, medium and large sized companies that apply best arthritis practices. The application process delivers insights to further strengthen Canadian companies' approaches to creating a more productive and arthritis-friendly work environment by helping employers and employees assess their companies' awareness of arthritis and support systems for employees living with the disease.