From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Downsizing Increases Cost of Health Care and Absenteeism

Employers who are downsizing as a means of saving money may actually be spending more on health-related expenditures for those workers who remain says a recent Canadian study.

Conducted by the Public Health Agency of Canada, the report indicates that increased workloads, also known as “role overloads” have caused costs for Canada’s health-care system to increase by up to $14 billion each year. Also, said the report, any savings that businesses may have seen in their reduced payroll is possibly being negated by increased absenteeism and higher health care expenses.

The study, which surveyed over 31,000 working Canadians, found that one-quarter of the workers spent more than 50 hours a week at work, while over half (58 percent) of workers reported high levels of role overload, and another 30 percent reported moderate levels of role overload. “Organizational anorexia” was blamed for the increase in both workload and hours spent each week at work.

The report, “Exploring the Link Between Work-Life Conflict and Demands on Canada’s Health Care System,” noted that Canadian taxpayers were also paying for the increased health expenditures. The report recommend that employers and governments reduce demands on working Canadians to “improve the health of their work force, and reduce the tax burdens on their citizens.”

Source: Canadian Press