Sun Life Rolls Out Absence Management Suite

April 13, 2009 ( - Canadian plan sponsors looking for some help managing worker absences can look to a new tool from Sun Life Financial.

The new offering is called EarlyRETURNS, and Sun Life says it offers a “unique and flexible approach to absence management that combines Sun Life’s industry-leading case management with advisory services, a robust service provider network, and absence prevention strategies.”

Specific Services

In addition to case management, EarlyRETURNS offers four complementary services to help tackle specific absence challenges:

  • Return-to-Work Advisory Services allow plan sponsors who prefer to handle their own case management to consult with Sun Life experts on how best to return employees to work quickly and safely;
  • Service Provider Express gives plan sponsors access to Sun Life’s national network of health professionals who are specialists in their field. Chosen for their complementary philosophy, skills, and experience, they help Sun Life extend its reach to meet virtually any plan member’s needs;
  • Chronic Casual Absence Services assess situations involving high rates of chronic, cyclical or patterned absenteeism (where the plan member has not met the STD waiting period, and where plan member has identified that there is a health element);
  • Absence Prevention Strategies help tackle organizational issues that may be driving absenteeism.

According to the announcement, the services are modular, so plan sponsors can choose the services that meet their specific needs.

“It’s very clear that a healthier workplace and workforce will have fewer absences,” said Dave Jones, Vice-President, Market Development, Group Benefits, Sun Life Financial Canada.   “What’s unique about EarlyRETURNS is that we not only help plan sponsors bring employees back to work sooner, we also help them prevent absences in the first place by identifying and addressing the drivers of absenteeism in their organizations. EarlyRETURNS is about early results. We can prove it.”