To view or download the Program, please click on the following link: Program

To view or download a copy of the Bios for Speakers, please click on the following link: Speakers

Online registration for IFDM 2018 is available at:

In order to choose wich of the Concurrent Workshop Sessions you wish to attend, Concurrent Workshop details can be viewed by clicking the link for each Concurrent Workshop Session.

The International Disability Management Standards Council (IDMSC), working in collaboration with the IFDM conferences, provides confirmation of 20 CEC hours to current holders of the CDMP and CRTWC professional designations who attend the full IFDM conference and optimize all learning activities.

Sunday, October 14
2:00 – 6:00 pm Registration
Monday, October 15
7:00 – 8:30 am Registration
8:30 – 8:50 am Welcome

    • Honourable W. G. Wouters, PC, OC, Chancellor, PCU-WHS
    • Ken Neumann, National Director, United Steelworkers, Co-Chair
    • Dean Winsor, Vice President Human Resources, Teck Resources Limited, Co-Chair
 8:50 – 9:50 am Keynote Address

Bill C-81  An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada
Ms. Yazmine Laroche, Deputy Minister, Public Service Accessibility, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
9:50 – 10:05 am Signing of Agreement – ISSA and NIDMAR
10:05 – 10:30 am  Break
 10:30 – 12:00 pm  Plenary

The end of traditional work – and of Disability Management?
Dr. Joachim Breuer, Director General of the German Federal Workers Compensation System – DGUV, Berlin, and President of the International Social Security Association – ISSA, Geneva

Disability Management and Social Security: Changing the Paradigm
François Perl, Director General, Federal Social Security Organization – INAMI/RIZIV, Belgium

 12:00 – 1:30 pm  Lunch
 1:30 – 2:45 pm  Concurrent workshops – Session 1
2:45 – 3:15 pm Break
3:15 – 4:30 pm Concurrent workshops – Session 2
4:30 – 6:30 pm Networking opportunity
Tuesday, October 16
8:45 – 10:15 am Plenary  – Panel Discussion

The Disappearing Workplace: Challenges and Opportunities for Workers Compensation Systems
Statutory, no-fault, occupational injury/disease insurance legislation and systems were first introduced in Germany in 1885, and this model has since been emulated in many countries around the world. Today, these systems are facing a myriad of new challenges with ever evolving impairments, a changing employment landscape, and fast paced technological transformation including new responsibility obligations with respect to a range of circumstances affecting workers’ mental health, increasing use of temporary workers facilitated in large part through increased and cost-effective transportation options and dramatic restructuring of traditional employment relationships. This discussion will include senior executives and thought leaders of national and international workers compensation systems who will not only highlight their changing environment and obligations, but also outline their respective organizations’ strategic and practical responses.

Panel Chair: Dr. Joachim Breuer, Director General of the German Federal Workers Compensation System – DGUV, Berlin, and President of the International Social Security Association – ISSA, Geneva

Panel Members:
The Disappearing Workplace: Challenges and Opportunities for Workers Compensation Systems
Dr. Hafez Hussain, Executive Director of the Malaysian Federal Social Security Agency (SOCSO) Rehabilitation Centre – who will be addressing challenges/opportunities dealing with the “Informal Economy”

Mental health compensation challenges and opportunities
Mr. Brian Jarvis, Chief Operating Officer of the Ontario Workers Compensation Board – WSIB – highlighting their organization’s strategies in dealing with new “Mental Health Compensation Challenges”

Mr. Ralph McGinn, Chair of the Board of Directors, BC Workers Compensation Board – WorkSafeBC – tackling the unique organizational issues associated with the “Increasing Number of Migrant Workers”

International and National Regulations on Disability and Workers’ Compensation Systems
Professor Gertruda Uścińska, President of the Polish Social Insurance Institution – ZUS – who will be providing an overview of the challenges faced by the Polish social security system.

10:15 – 10:45 am Break
10:45 am  – 12:00 pm Concurrent workshops – Session 3
12:00 – 1:30 pm Lunch
1:30 – 2:45 pm Concurrent workshops – Session 4
2:45 – 3:15 pm Break
3:15 – 4:30 pm Concurrent workshops – Session 5
6:00 – 8:00 pm Social event
Wednesday, October 17
8:30 – 10:00 am

Plenary – Panel Discussion

Disability and Poverty: Breaking the Cycle
More than 1.2 million Canadians living with a physical or mental health disability are supported through a provincial or federal social security system, which means living in poverty. In fact, people with disabilities constitute a disproportionate 23% of all people living in poverty across Canada. According to the WHO World Report on Disability, this pattern is replicated across the majority of developed and developing economies, with people with disabilities accounting for a disproportionate percentage of those living below the poverty line. As more than 80% of impairments occur during one’s working life, for those who lose their employment for various reasons due to an impairment, this often triggers the downward path, with very difficult financial, social, psychological and health outcomes. As evidenced through recent federal and provincial consultations, the first imperative raised by people with disabilities was: employment – being part of the workforce and being party of society. Sadly, this outcome pattern, to varying degrees, is replicated around the world where a variety of public policy approaches have attempted to address these issues with often limited success. Our changing employment landscape where increasing precarious work has resulted in less than 50% of workers having non-occupational long-term disability coverage and, in the absence of statutory re-employment obligations, only serves to exacerbate this disturbing cycle. Key leaders will explore the challenge and potential opportunities for positive change.

Panel Chair: Honourable Wayne G. Wouters, PC, OC, Chancellor, PCU-WHS

Panel Members:
Canada Pension Plan Disability Program
Kris Johnson, Director General, Canada Pension Plan Disability

Tackling people with disabilites poverty: more than words
François Perl, Director General, INAMI/RIZIV, Federal Social Security Organization, Belgium

Ian Ross, Executive Director, Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, BC

Wolfgang Zimmermann, President, PCU-WHS

10:00 – 10:30 am Break
10:30 – 12:00 pm Plenary – Panel Discussion

Meeting the Challenge of Mental Health in Today’s Workplace
Healthy workplaces, work life balance and mental health in the workplace have come under increasing scrutiny in discussions around workplace culture, strategic goals and operating environments. Driven by a multitude of factors including increased general awareness and diagnosis, rapidly rising mental health short- and long-term disability claims and often tragic homelessness, addiction and suicide caused by an underlying mental health challenge drive today’s public discourse and the strategies and actions for many leaders and practitioners across all stakeholder groups. However, the quest for effective solutions is tempered by a range of constraints which can include limited resources at all levels, economic organizational pressure in both the public and private sectors, practical limitations in research, appropriate medical assessment and treatment, and ultimately effective return to work strategies. Renowned experts representing key stakeholders will share their experiences, successful strategies and highlight critical developments in this important field.

Panel Chair: Jody Thomas, Deputy Minister University Champion for PCU-WHS and Deputy Minister for Canada’s Department of National Defence

Panel Members:
Catherine Blewett, Deputy Minister, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Mental Health a UK Perspective
Graham Halsey, Executive Director, IDMSC UK-Ireland

International Perspectives on Mental Health and Work
Donal McAnaney, PhD, Chief Academic Officer, PCU-WHS

Stephanie Richardson, Advocate, Youth Mental Health

12:00 – 12:30 pm Wrap-up of IFDM 2018 and Hand-over to IFDM 2020 Belgium
12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch