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Approaching your employer

Once you’ve started to come to grips with how the disease will affect you, you need to decide whether to tell your employer about your diagnosis. You may be reluctant to do so, assuming it may result in the loss of your job. But there a few reasons why this might not be the case:

  • Despite the disease, you may still have valuable knowledge and skills that are important to your company.
  • The company has obligations to you under the Employment Standards Act, Human Rights Code and Workers’ Insurance Act.
  • Even though you have difficulty doing parts of your job, your employer may be able to adjust your duties to make use of your remaining skills. In fact, they may have an obligation to do so under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act. 

Advantages of disclosing your diagnosis to your employer early on

  • Not waiting for your job performance to slide demonstrates that you have the company’s interests at heart.
  • It reduces the risk for future misunderstandings with your boss regarding your performance.
  • It may activate any health benefits that might be available through your employer, including short-term and long-term disability.
  • The company may be able to advise you on how to bridge to early retirement benefits if necessary.

Going in prepared

Of course, there is a risk that your employer may simply assume you are no longer capable of fulfilling your duties as a result of your dementia. So, before talking to your boss,

  • Approach the Human Resources department of your company to see whether they are willing to speak to you in confidence.
  • If they are, ask them about the company’s human resource policies that are relevant to your situation and what benefit programs are available to you.
  • If they are not, get independent human resource or legal advice about what obligations the company has to you as an employee.
  • Be prepared to discuss not only how the disease is causing you trouble, but also what you are still capable of.
  • Keep the link for this website handy so that you can give it to your boss.

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Last Updated: 11/08/2017