One of the more difficult things that a Small Business Owner will ever have to tackle is to make a decision on when to terminate benefits after a prolonged employee absence.
As noted in the Benefits Canada article, “The Challenges of Terminating Benefits for Employees on Disability” , several questions could arise when making this difficult decision…
- Should benefits continue until long-term disability payments terminate?
- What about employees who were young when they went on disability and only worked for the organization for a short period?
- Can an organization choose to stop providing health and dental benefits for someone in poor health with high drug costs?
- How would providing health and dental coverage to all employees with disabilities until they reach the termination age of the long-term disability plan affect the sustainability of the benefits program?
From a logistics perspective, a human resources policy is required. Some suggested sample wording from the ConnectsUS online HR Toolkit:
There’s a limit to how long you can participate in the Company’s benefit plan without being at work.
Should you not be actively at work in the Workplace for any reason, the maximum time you may continue to participate in the Company’s benefits plan without being at work is EXAMPLE: 24 months. At that time, your participation in the Company benefits plan will be terminated.
Any benefits provided to you by our Insurance Carriers on a premium-free basis beyond EXAMPLE: 24 months may continue to be available to you in accordance with the applicable Insurance Carriers’ Benefit Contract & Plan Provisions.
As a Small Business Owner, this is a critical piece to the sustainability of your Employee Benefits program. Do yourself a favour and align yourself with an HR Resource specialist like Peninsula Canada , 1 Stop HR, Beyond Rewards HR or ConnectsUS HR.
Located in Cambridge, ON Sharkey Group Insurance provides independent Employee Benefits advice & counsel for Small Businesses across Ontario.