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National Day of Mourning (April 28th)

Health and Wellness
April 28th is recognized as the Day of Mourning and was established in 1984 by the Canadian Labour Congress. It is a day to remember those who have been killed or injured as a result of a work-related incident or occupational disease. It also serves as a reminder for workplaces to continue to support healthy and safe work practices throughout the year. This day is not only recognized across Canada, but in over 100 countries worldwide. Thousands of workers have suffered an illness, been injured, or even killed as a result of a work-related event. Due to these tragedies, many families and friends have been severely affected. This...

Effective Ways to Boost Employee Morale

Health and Wellness
Low morale can be a concern because it means that your workforce may not just be unhappy, but it also means employees are unlikely to be performing to their best capability. Some indications of low morale may include; low productivity, high turnover, and increased inter-personal conflicts. These are factors that could negatively affect highly skilled and engaged employees, which can be detrimental to the overall bottom-line of the organization. Even the most mundane of jobs can be appealing to people, if the systems and environment are set up to be inspiring. The highest levels of profitability and productivity come when there is high morale in the workplace.  High...

The fine line of “Use it or Lose it” when it comes to your Group Benefits Plan

Health and Wellness
This time of year, we are receiving notices from our dentist, optometrists, and other healthcare providers reminding us that our benefits plan will renew in January.  They advise us that since we are paying for our benefits, we should maximize our usage to ensure nothing is left over as the funds will not carry over into the New Year.  They say “use it or lose it”; however, there are a few things you should be aware of with this way of thinking. If you pay a premium towards your benefits plan it makes sense that you would want to get your money’s worth out of your benefits.  You...

What is an EFAP or EAP?

Health and Wellness
EFAP (Employee and Family Assistance Program) or EAP (Employee Assistance Program) are generally provided in conjunction with your employee benefits package.  They are confidential services that you or your family members are able to connect with at any time to discuss a wide variety of personal, family, or work related issues that you may be struggling with. There are many different topics that these programs can assist with; a few include: Work/Life Balance and other workplace challenges Weight Management and Nutrition Addiction Issues Financial Guidance Relationship Issues and Parenting   Most EFAP providers no longer require you to place a phone call to start receiving support.  Many have...

The Cannabis Act and Benefits Plans

Health and Wellness
With the Cannabis Act coming into force on October 17th, 2018, many insurers are in the process of determining how to best fit medical marijuana into current plan offerings.  To be eligible for reimbursement under a group benefits plan, a drug must have a Drug Identification Number (DIN). Currently, marijuana is not an approved drug in Canada and does not have a DIN, so this poses a challenge to insurers. While it isn’t currently considered an eligible expense under the extended healthcare plan, it is an acceptable expense for a healthcare spending account (HSA), as the guidelines for HSA expenses are provided by the Canada Revenue Agency. Your...