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Mental health emerges as a top concern for Canadian employers: report

0 2 years ago

Prior to the pandemic, Canada businesses tended to express worry about more tangible risks: an office fire that could destroy essential documents; a flood that could short-circuit expensive equipment.

But now, the biggest threats facing Canadian businesses are invisible, and trickier to manage, according to insurance company Aviva Canada’s annual Risk Insights Report, which draws on interviews with 1,500 business leaders to rank the things that keep Canadian business leaders awake at night.

COVID-19 ranked as the biggest threat; no surprise, given it caused an epic global recession in 2020 and continues to torment businesses around the world. The second item on the list, cyber-security, also was on the radar of executives a few years ago, even if relatively few were unsure about how to guard against malicious hackers. Labour shortages and supply disruptions – fourth and fifth, respectively – have been widely reported as the driving forces behind a troubling burst of inflation for more than a year.

The biggest surprise might be the risk at No. 3 on Aviva’s list: mental health, which was rarely discussed as an economic issue ahead of the pandemic. That’s changed. Employee satisfaction declined when COVID-19 hit and employees began working remotely. Experts believe Canadians are living with low-grade trauma from the events of the past two years, which, from a purely business perspective, increases absenteeism and adds to costs associated with treating mental health.


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