Manulife Financial employees may now claim up to $10,000 a year in mental health benefits.
Manulife has redesigned its benefits plan and says it is now offering the highest level of mental health benefits of any employer in Canada. The insurer's employees are eligible to receive mental health support benefits of up to $10,000 per person per year, including family members.
Under its previous group plan, Manulife employees could claim up to $1,000 per year for a combination of services provided by licensed practitioners, including mental health. After a review of its benefits program, the insurer decided to not only increase the amount of money available, but also to separate the benefits for mental health practitioners from other professionals such as physiotherapists in order to provide employees with greater flexibility.
Manulife points to research conducted by the Canadian Mental Health Association which suggests that about one in five Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime, and reveals that mental health claims represent 35% of all short-term disability claims and 44% of all long-term disability claims for its employees.
"Addressing mental health in the workplace is vital, because most Canadian adults spend more time at work than they do anywhere else," says Louise Bradley, President and CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada. "Manulife has taken important, progressive action that demonstrates clear leadership when it comes to prioritizing employees’ health and wellness. I would encourage all employers to aspire to this kind of forward-thinking."