Health & Well-Being Services

Sick Leave & Long-Term Disability

In this section:

Sick Leave

You may be eligible for up to 15 weeks of paid leave if you cannot work because of illness or injury. To qualify, you must be a staff-appointed employee, you must have completed your probationary period, and your absence must be supported by medical documentation.

If you cannot report to work because you are sick or injured, notify your supervisor as soon as possible. Tell your supervisor the estimated date of your return to work.

Absences due to illness must be supported by medical documentation. With advanced notice, the University can ask you to provide a doctor’s note that certifies your inability to work.

Health & Well-being will send you a Medical Report form after you have been absent for ten working days or longer.

If you know in advance you will be absent for ten working days or longer due to a medical condition, contact Health & Well-being. They will send you a Medical Report form immediately.

The Medical Report must be completed by a physician. You are responsible for returning the Medical Report to Health & Well-being.

A Health & Well-being case manager will review the completed Medical Report to determine whether your sick leave is medically substantiated. Health & Well-being will then communicate its decision to you and to your department. If the sick leave is not medically supported, you may not qualify for sick leave pay.

Your absence must be continually supported during a long sick leave. Health & Well-being may ask you to provide updated Medical Reports throughout your sick leave.

Once your doctor clears you to return to work, a Health & Well-being case manager will help plan your return to work. The plan may involve a gradual return schedule, workplace accommodations, and a return to work meeting.

Health & Well-being holds your personal medical information in confidence. Health & Well-being does not disclose specific illnesses, symptoms, treatments, or the identity and specialization of treatment providers with departments, human resources, unions, or professional associations, except to the extent required or permitted by law. We routinely only share non-medical information, such as restrictions, limitations, prognoses, and dates of upcoming medical appointments.

Unionized employees are encouraged to review the appropriate sections in their collective agreements.

Long-Term Disability

If you are medically unable to work for longer than 15 weeks, you may qualify for Long-Term Disability (LTD) benefits. The University’s LTD plan provides income protection if you develop a serious illness, are injured, or have an accident that prevents you from working.

U of T employees over the age of 65 are not eligible to receive LTD benefits.

LTD benefits are not automatic. You must apply. About seven weeks into your sick leave, Health & Well-being will send you an LTD kit. The LTD kit includes two application forms: one is to be completed by you, and the other is to be completed by your physician. You must submit both forms to Sun Life Financial (which is  the University’s LTD provider). Sun Life will review your application, and either approve or decline your LTD claim.

If Sun Life approves your LTD claim, you will receive 70% of your regular salary, to a maximum of $87,500 per year. (The maximum for Faculty members and Librarians is $105,000 per year.) For example, if you earn $50,000 per year, you will receive $35,000 in LTD benefits.

Your premiums for extended health and dental coverage will be deducted from your LTD payments. The University will waive your group life insurance premiums, LTD premiums, and pension contributions. If you are a union member, your fees are waived.

While you are on LTD, Sun Life and the University of Toronto expect you to make reasonable efforts to:

  • Recover from your illness, including participating in treatment or rehabilitation programs.
  • Inform Sun Life of significant changes to your medical condition.
  • Actively work towards returning to work.
  • Accept reasonable offers of modified employment.
  • Inform Sun Life if you return to your job, or to any other job.

To remain eligible for LTD benefits, Sun Life will ask you to provide medical and personal updates.

Once your doctor clears you to return to work, Sun Life and Health & Well-being will work with you to plan your return. The plan may involve a gradual return to work schedule, workplace accommodations, and a return to work meeting.

The University will hold your position open for up to 24 months while you are on LTD. After 24 months, the University can release your position. If you are later deemed medically fit to return to work, the University will work with you to try to find another position at the University.

If you remain totally disabled from performing any job for longer than 24 months, you may be eligible to continue to receive LTD benefits.

At any time while you are receiving LTD benefits, the University or Sun Life may ask you to apply for CPP Disability benefits.

Health & Well-being staff are available to answer questions about the LTD process at the University of Toronto.

Workplace Accidents & Injuries

In this section:

Guide to benefits under Workplace Safety & Insurance Act

This page is intended to provide a basic outline of workplace safety and insurance benefits as they pertain to the employees of the University of Toronto. Should you sustain a work-related injury or occupational disease, your health costs and loss of earnings due to lost time from work may be covered as specified.

All work-related accidents, injuries or occupational diseases must be reported to the Office of Health & Well-being Programs & Services within 24 hours (fax: 416.971.3052). This office is responsible for reporting to the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board and for the ongoing follow-up of claims.

Reporting procedures and copies of the university accident/incident form and web-base form are also available on the HR Forms page.

If you require more detailed information, or have any questions, please contact the WSIB Administrator at 416.978.8804.

Definition of a worker

A “worker” includes a person who has entered into or is employed under a contract of service or apprenticeship, written or oral, express or implied, manual labour or otherwise. Employees who are eligible for Workplace Safety & Insurance benefits include:

  • Permanent full-time staff
  • Part-time staff
  • Temporary staff

If you have some doubt as to whether you are covered for workplace safety and insurance board benefits, contact the WSIB Administrator at 416.978.8804.

Definition of an accident

  • A willful and intentional act, not being the act of the worker
  • A chance event occasioned by a physical or natural cause
  • Disablement arising out of and in the course of employment

Incidents involving no injury or illness

Supervisors are also required to report all incidents, that may have had a potential for injury or illness although no injury or illness occurred.

A near miss incident is an event, that does not result in injury, or damage but had the potential to do so. Although the outcome is different, the causes that lead to a near miss incident are the same as those that result in injury or damage. As a result, supervisors are required to report and investigate near miss incidents in the same manner as those that cause injury or damage.

Definition of an occupational disease

An occupational disease is an illness or disease brought on, or caused by exposure in the workplace, to a physical, chemical, or biological agent to the extent that the health of a staff member is impaired.

First aid injuries

First aid injuries occur when an employee sustains a work-related injury requiring only first aid.

Health care injuries

Health care injuries arise when an employee sustains a work-related injury when there is no lost time from work, other than on the day of the accident, but medical attention from a chiropractor, physician, physiotherapist, registered nurse (extended class). The Workplace Safety & Insurance Board covers the health care costs resulting from the injury.

Lost time injuries

Lost time injuries occur when an employee sustains a work-related injury, which results in lost time from work after the day of the accident.

Choice and change of doctor

Every employee who sustains a work-related injury or occupational disease is entitled to make the initial choice of doctor or other qualified practitioner for the purpose of receiving medical treatment.

To assist workers and employers in early and safe return to work, the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board policy allows workers to make their initial choice of health professional from among the following groups of health professionals:

  • Chiropractors
  • Physicians
  • Physiotherapists
  • Registered Nurses (Extended Class)

The Workplace Safety & Insurance Board also allows workers to seek initial treatment from two health professionals without the need for a referral or WSIB authorization. Change to a further health care professional will require approval of the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board.

Medical assessment requests by employer

While a worker who claims or is receiving benefits under the insurance plan, may be requested by the University of Toronto to submit to a health examination by a health professional selected and paid for by the university. (Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, Section 36).

You do have the right to refuse to see the medical practitioner as assigned by your employer. However, your employer has the right to request that the board direct the worker to submit to an examination and, if necessary that the board determine the nature and extent of the examination. A decision of the board under this section is final and is not appealable to the appeals tribunal.

Employees responsibilities when you have an accident

  1. Promptly receive first aid.
  2. Notify your supervisor immediately of any injury, including injuries which do not require medical attention or lost time.
  3. Choose a doctor or other qualified practitioner.
  4. Complete and promptly return all report forms received from the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board.
  5. In the case of a lost time injury, keep your supervisor updated as to your progress and advise him / her as soon as possible when you are medically fit to return to regular or modified work.

Supervisor’s responsibilities when employees have an accident

  1. Ensure that first aid is received.
  2. Arrange and pay for transportation to medical care, if needed.
  3. Promptly investigate the accident or near-miss incident to determine the causes.
  4. Send a completed accident report to the office of Health & Well-being Programs & Services within 24 hours.
  5. Take appropriate corrective action to prevent a recurrence.

Benefits while absent from work

The University of Toronto pays 15 weeks full salary to most staff members when a claim has been filed with the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board. After 15 weeks, you will receive cheques directly from the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board at the rate of pay of 85% of net average earnings (gross salary less employment insurance, CPP and tax).

After the 15-week period of full salary, you are also responsible for paying the portion of the benefit premiums you wish to maintain when absent from work. Arrangements to submit monthly premiums are to be made through a Health & Well-beingDisability and Benefits Advisor at 416.978.2149.

While you are absent from work, the University will continue to pay the employer’s portion of each benefit you are maintaining as per the WSIB Act.

Should your lost time claim be denied by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, the loss-time will be recorded as sick leave. If it is anticipated that you will be off for more than 15 weeks, a long-term disability kit will be forwarded to you.

If you are injured while out of the province

Staff members injured while outside of the province of Ontario may, under certain conditions; claim benefits under the Workplace Safety & Insurance Act of Ontario.

If you are an Ontario resident, you are automatically covered for up to six months while temporarily working outside of Ontario. If longer than six months, the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board must approve an extension of coverage. Your department must contact the WSIB consultant with the details of your destination, reason for going, and length of stay. The WSIB administrator 416.978.8804 will seek approval for your extension of coverage from the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board and notify your department of approval.

On/off the University of Toronto premises

You are considered to be in the course of your employment upon entering the University of Toronto’s property within normal working hours. This ends on leaving the premises, unless you leave for the purpose of your employment.

However, should you leave the premises for personal reasons, such as appointments or lunch, you would have removed yourself from the course of your employment and you would not be covered.
The University premises would include buildings, plants, entrances, exits, stairs, elevators, lobbies, parking lots, passage ways, and roads controlled by the University of Toronto.

Travelling on business

When the conditions of your employment require that you travel away from the University of Toronto, you are considered to be in the course of employment continuously unless a distinct departure on a personal errand is shown. Therefore, if you must attend a conference, which is out of town for a few days, you would be continuously covered during the conference, as well as during any required traveling. Note however, the six-month time limit under out-of province travel.

If you have any questions regarding the forms listed, please contact Patti Kergon, WSIB Administrator at 416.978.8804.

Sourced and Adopted from WSIB
Health & Well-being Programs & Services
University of Toronto
May, 2012

Occupational Health

Health & Well-being Programs & Services is committed to the promotion of employee health within a safe and healthy work environment. Following is a summary of some of the preventative programs available.

In this section:

Occupational Disease Prevention

Occupational Health Risk Assessments and ongoing health and biological monitoring for employees at risk for exposure to:

  • Hepatitis A,B,C
  • Heavy Metals
  • HIV
  • Q-fever
  • Rabies
  • Sensitivities / Allergies
  • Tuberculosis
  • Vaccinia
  • Comprehensive programs established for those employees exposed to:
    • Blood and body fluids
    • Specific viruses / bacteria
    • Infectious diseases
    • Animals / non-human primates.

Hearing Tests (Audiograms)

Baseline and regular testing and counselling is provided for noise-exposed workers.

Eye Exam

For employees working with lasers.


Pulmonary Function tests for those employees exposed to respiratory hazards.

Medical Assessment / Clearance

  • For employees working with biohazards.
  • For employees working with respirators.

Immunization / Screening Tests

For employees at risk of exposure to rabies, Q-fever, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Tetanus/Diphtheria and Tuberculosis.

Travel & Field Work

We advise on preparedness for diverse potential hazards – physical, infectious, medical and environmental hazards when traveling or performing fieldwork

Employee Support

We consult on general health issues in the work environment such as dealing with troubled employees, absenteeism, substance abuse, and workplace relationship conflicts. We provide referrals, to both on, and off campus resources.

Individual advice, primary care, referral and group sessions are provided on a variety of health related topics such as: Hypertension, Back care, Nutrition, Stress Management, Fitness, Pain Management, Infectious diseases, smoking cessation, and substance and alcohol abuse.

All consultations are voluntary and strictly confidential. An Occupational Health Nurse and an Occupational Health Physician are available to assist you. To schedule an appointment call 416.978.4476. The office is open Monday to Friday.

Health & Well-being Programs & Services
University of Toronto
July, 2012

Accommodation guidelines for employees with disabilities at University of Toronto

The guidelines are intended to provide the reader with an understanding of how the University addresses accommodation for people with disabilities in the workplace. The guidelines provide a description of the typical process. Because of the need to respond with some flexibility to individual cases, it should be noted that there may be variations in the way these guidelines apply in individual cases. For example, not every step needs to be taken in every case, the steps may not always take place in the same order, and in some cases a different office within the University than the one indicated below might take responsibility for a particular step. Individuals should contact their manager/chair or HR generalist for specific issues, questions or requests.

In this section:

Request for Accommodation

Employees may request an accommodation at any time. Accommodation requests usually begin when an employee notifies the University, usually the manager/chair, Human Resources (HR) or Health and Well-being Programs Services (HWB) that due to illness or disability, s/he can not perform the essential duties of her/his job.

Medical Documentation

The request for accommodation must be supported by medical documentation. An accommodation will not be put in place until the University has received medical information confirming that the employee has a disability and the restrictions and limitations that need to be accommodated. Confidential medical documentation should be sent to HWB where it will be evaluated and treated with appropriate confidentiality. Where additional medical documentation is needed, HWB sends out a medical report for the employee’s doctor or other appropriate specialist to complete and return. The medical report is designed to gather information about the nature of the condition, the functional abilities, limitations and restrictions, the prognosis and the duration of accommodation needed. When medical information is received, HWB will share with the department the non-confidential portions, which are the abilities, limitations, restrictions, prognosis and anticipated duration of accommodation. HWB will not share any other information (including the type of disability, the treatment plan and the name/specialty of the medical provider) except in cases where the employee consents to the sharing of such information.

Accommodation process

When any of HR, HWB or a manager/chair receives a request for accommodation, that party should notify the others so that all can be involved in the accommodation.

After a request for accommodation has been received, the next step is to ask the employee to provide medical documentation to HWB. If the request for accommodation was made when an employee was returning from sick leave or LTD, HWB might already have the required medical documentation.

When HWB receives medical information to support an accommodation request, HWB will notify the appropriate divisional HR office and the employee’s department, and will provide them the non-confidential portions of the information.

In the process of accommodation, HWB will copy HR and the department on all non-confidential communications that it sends to the employee and/or union.

Once the restrictions and limitations are known, the next step may be to identify an accommodation which will enable the employee to fulfill the essential duties of his/her job. In some cases, it may be easy for the manager or academic administrator and the employee to identify and implement an accommodation. In these cases, the parties should complete a written accommodation plan (discussed further in this document), which must be signed by both parties and forwarded to HWB and the HR office. It is important to record the accommodation plan in writing to ensure that there are no misunderstandings at a later date.

In many cases, the department needs the assistance of HWB to coordinate the development of and agreement to an accommodation. In some cases an accommodation plan may be secured without the necessity of a meeting. In the majority of cases, HWB schedules a meeting with the employee’s accommodation team’. The accommodation team is comprised of the employee, the employee’s union/association representative (unless employee prefers no union/association representation), a divisional HR generalist, the manager/chair and a HWB representative. Other individuals including Sun Life Rehabilitation Specialist may attend. Labour Relations representatives/legal counsel do not routinely attend unless there is an identified need.

The purpose of the meeting is to review the restrictions and limitations, identify accommodation possibilities, clarify the expected duration of accommodation, identify any non-medical issues that may have an impact on the success of the accommodation and/or that may require follow-up by HR or the department, assign responsibilities and determine next steps.

After this meeting, the parties will follow the steps they discussed in order to put the accommodation in place and have the employee begin working with the accommodation. In some cases, more than one accommodation team meeting is required before the accommodation is in place and ready for the employee to begin.

In the majority of cases, the accommodation will involve the employee staying in his/her home position with some modifications to that position.

Accommodating an Employee in an alternative position

In the rare cases, when an employee cannot be accommodated in his/her pre-disability position, the University may be able to accommodate the employee in another position within the University. In order to determine if this is a possibility, the HR generalist from the home division and HWB work with the employee and the union/association to identify the employee’s skill set, abilities and continuing limitations and restrictions. When skill sets and limitations and restrictions are clarified, a description is placed on the HR Portal. When HR Generalists are posting new positions, they review the descriptions on the portal to see if any employees requiring accommodation would be suitable for their position. It is possible that a position that has already been posted may also be identified as appropriate for an employee requiring accommodation.

If the employee’s qualifications appear to meet the requirements of an available position, the HR generalist responsible for the posting contacts the HR generalist from the employee’s home position or HWB to discuss. In cases where there appears to be a match between the employee’s qualifications, and the position requirements, the HR offices and/or HWB will arrange an assessment meeting between the manager and the employee. This assessment meeting is not a full job interview, but allows the manager and employee an opportunity to discuss whether the position is suitable given the employee’s skills, limitations and restrictions, and the requirements of the job.

Accommodations that include a move to a new position usually include a one-month transition’ period within which the manager is able to determine if the employee is in fact qualified, able to perform the position responsibilities and the employee in conjunction with HWB and a medical provider may assess whether the position is within the reported restrictions and limitations.

Accommodation Plan

Once a position or an accommodation within a position has been identified, an accommodation plan is drafted. HWB has templates for departments to use for simple accommodations. For more complex accommodations, HWB will help draft the accommodation plan as developed in the accommodation team meetings.

Once a position or an accommodation within a position has been identified, an accommodation plan is drafted. HWB has templates for departments to use for simple accommodations. For more complex accommodations, HWB will help draft the accommodation plan as developed in the accommodation team meetings.


Many accommodations, whether in the employee’s home position or a different position, require ongoing monitoring and reassessment. This is best done by having periodic accommodation team meetings throughout the duration of the accommodation. HWB coordinates these meetings.

HWB may request updated medical on a periodic basis to support ongoing accommodations. The department or the employee should contact HWB if they believe that the restrictions/limitations have changed or if they otherwise believe that updated medical documentation is needed.

Prepared by Health and Well-being Programs and Services, May 28, 2008. For further information please contact the office at 416.978.2149 or e-mail Kim Burbine Richard, Director, Health & Well-being Programs.