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Disability Management Program

​​​Employee Process

​Canadian Pacific (CP) is committed to supporting employees with physical and mental health issues by facilitating the employment of persons with a disability through a coordinated effort.   The Disability Management Program encourages employee health and well-being, promotes timely intervention to employees who become ill or injured, and promotes early and safe return to work.   The Disability Management Program aims to provide a consistent and caring process through which CP supports employees with timely reintegration to regular or modified work duties in conjunction with their recovery.

Canadian Pacific recognizes the value of each employee as well as the important contribution that work is in an individual's life.  Remaining involved at work, by focusing on an employee's capabilities, benefits an individual's recovery and reduces the impact of injury or disability on the employee. 

As part of the mandatory RTW program with CP, employees are responsible for providing information for the provision of suitable modified work.  Whether you are injured or become ill while at work or during your personal time, you have an obligation to inform CP if you will be unable to perform your regular work duties and/or anticipate time off work.

CP's Disability Management Specialists will develop an appropriate RTW plan in conjunction with the ill or injured employee, appropriate Manager/Supervisor, and the information gathered from the Functional Abilities Form (FAF).


What do I do if I am going to be absent from work due to a medical condition?

1.    Immediately (at your earliest opportunity or by the end of your shift) report your medical absence to your Supervisor or Manager.  Discuss with your Manager the possibility of non-safety sensitive, sedentary (not physically strenuous) modified work to temporarily accommodate you while the company is awaiting your initial medical information.​ 

2.    Whether you're medical condition is non-occupational or work-related, unionized or non-union, the RTW process is essentially the same.  If you know you are going to be absent from work, ​

  • for greater than three days for non-occupational illnesses and/or injuries      OR
  • on your next scheduled shift for work-related illnesses and/or injuries,

    Ensure you obtain a Functional Abilities Form (FAF) package to have completed with a Physician.  The FAF is to be received by the company within 72 hours of going off work for a medical condition.  It is the employee's responsibility to ensure the FAF reaches the company within the required timeframe. 

    There are two different FAF forms, one for safety-critical positions and the other for safety sensitive & non-safety sensitive positions. Please ensure you print off the correct form prior to taking it to the Physician for completion.  If you are unsure of the safety designation of your position, you may check your position on the safety-critical and safety-sensitive lists at the following link on CP Station, under the ​Fitness to Work Medical Policy  If you do not see your position listed on either document, you work in a non-safety sensitive role.

    Please note, you must ensure you have completed part two (Employee Information) and part three (Employee Consent) of the FAF forms prior to submitting to the company.

    The FAF's can be located by following the links on the left side of this page. 

3.    Seek immediate medical attention for assessment, care and treatment with a Physician.  Take the FAF to this initial appointment, ensure it is completed, and whenever possible request a copy of the completed FAF forms to take with you.  If the Physician will not complete the FAF forms during your visit, remember it is still the employee responsibility to submit the FAF within 72 hours, so follow up with the clinic afterwards to ensure this is done.  Be sure to advise your Treating Physician that Canadian Pacific has a disability management program and that there are options for modified work as required.   

4.    Fax the completed FAF within 72 hours of your medical absence, to the number indicated on the FAF: 

  • For safety-critical employees, the FAF is faxed to Occupational Health Services (OHS) at (403) 319-6803;
  • For non-safety sensitive and safety sensitive employees, the FAF is faxed to the Disability Management Group at:
  • (403) 205-9147 if you work in Ontario/Quebec
  • (403) 205-9148 if you work in BC/Alberta/Saskatchewan/Manitoba. 

5.    Contact the designated Disability Management (DM) Specialist for assistance with options for suitable safe work duties and return to work (RTW) planning. The DM Specialist in your region can be found on CP Station at:​​.  Work with the DM Specialist and your supervisor/manager to develop your RTW plan. 

6.    Contact your supervisor and/or Disability Management Specialist at least once per week for the duration of your absence to provide updates on your functional ability and estimated return to work date. 

7.    Provide updated FAF's and additional medical documentation to Occupational Health Services (OHS) upon request or if your condition changes (improvement or regression), and participate fully with RTW planning.  Continue to perform modified duties within your documented limitations to the best of your ability, and discuss any concerns with your local Disability Management Specialist and supervisors.


What information is contained in the FAF package?

  • Instructions for the employee
  • Letter to the Treating Physician detailing Canadian Pacific's Disability Management Program and safety requirements.
  • The FAF outlines what an employee is capable of doing functionally, based on their medical condition.  Please note, the employee must complete part two and three of the FAF.
  • Invoice (part nine).  Canadian Pacific will pay your Physician for the completed FAF.  Direct the clinic to complete the invoice portion of the FAF package and fax into the number outlined on the form.
  • Other documents:
  • Job Demands Analysis (JDA) outlining the physical, psychological, and environmental requirements of a certain position.  This may be used as a tool for your Physician and/or insurance Case Managers to review what is required in a particular role.
  • Manulife Short Term Disability (STD) application form should you choose to apply for wage loss benefits.


​Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

  • "I've heard that the company doesn't provide modified duties.  Is this true?" 

No, this is not true.  CP Rail has a multi-faceted Disability Management Policy and Program focused on early intervention and each case is reviewed systematically for suitable RTW options. Even if your immediate Supervisor advises there is no work available, there may exist work elsewhere in the company and your designated Disability Management Specialist will help you through this process.  Per policy the review will start with your own position, then own classification & bargaining unit, and finally outside your own craft.  All local options are exhausted first, and then alternate locations are reviewed.

  • ​"Do I need to pay for completion of the forms?" 

CP will pay for completion of the Functional Abilities Form.  The employee is not to pay out of their own pocket.  Per the instructions included on the FAF, the Physician is to invoice CP's OHS team directly for payment.  The employee may be required to pay for completion of Manulife or other insurance forms if applying for benefit coverage. 

  • "Is the RTW Specialist going to rush me back to work before I'm medically ready?"

​No, the Disability Management Specialist will work with you, your treatment providers, and insurance providers to provide a safe and successful RTW as soon as functionally able.  This is why the FAF is so important, as it allows the Disability Management Specialist to work with your abilities as outlined by your treatment providers and the work available at CP, to identify a match for your needs.  Recent research shows that early intervention is critical when recovering from an injury or illness so we will do our best to review each case and provide reasonable options for RTW as soon as possible. 

  • "I've heard that I do not need to get a FAF completed until I am ready to RTW.  Is this true?"

No, this is not true.  As mentioned above, CP aims to provide safe and early intervention options for RTW as soon as functionally able.  This means we need the FAF as soon as possible.  The initial FAF is required within 72 hours of going off work for a medical absence.  Please also be reminded that it is the employee responsibility to ensure the FAF is received by the company within the outlined time frame.

  • "How will I be paid when I am working modified duties?"

Company policy dictates that an employee will be paid for the work they are performing.  This means if you are working in a lesser-paid position you will receive the lower rate if working in a higher-paid position you will receive the higher rate of pay.  If a person is assigned bundled tasks or is working within their normal role in a modified fashion, then the employee will receive their normal pay rate.

If an employee is not being paid their normal rate of pay (ie. A gradual or part time RTW or lower rated position) and they have an accepted insurance claim, the insurer may review for potential top-up of wage loss benefits.

  • ​"What will happen if I decline a modified duty offer?"

    ​Declining suitable work within your abilities will put your wage loss benefits at risk if you have an accepted claim.  The Worker's Compensation Boards and Manulife both require mandatory participation with the company's Disability Management program, which includes accepting and participating in modified work when available and to the best of their ability.  It is the insurers responsibility to assess whether or not the work offer is a match for the persons abilities, based on what they have received in terms of medical and other information on their file. 

    Further to this, declining suitable work could also potentially result in disciplinary action with the company.
  • "Can't I just submit a Doctor's note instead of the FAF?"

    ​CP Rail no longer accepts Doctor's notes.  The FAF was designed with the employees needs in mind.  We are looking for specific information on your abilities and do not require confidential information regarding diagnosis or treatment.
  • "I don't have access to a computer or printer to get the forms printed off.  Are there other ways to obtain the documents required?"

    Yes.  You can contact your front-line Manager/Supervisor, Support person for your group (if there is one), or the designated Disability Management Specialist for your territory & group and it can be mailed, faxed, or emailed to you or your Physician.
  • "My Physician refused to complete the FAF.  What do I do now?"

    It is the employee's responsibility to ensure they submit a FAF within 72 hours.  If your Physician will not complete the required forms, then an alternate Physician may be the next best option. It can be a walk-in clinic Physician or Locum Physician, as long as they are a registered Physician.  If you have exhausted all options and still are unable to get a FAF completed, please contact your local DM Specialist for advice on how to proceed.
  • "I didn't hurt myself at work.  Do I still need to complete a FAF?"

    Yes, the process is essentially the same for non-work related illness or injuries.  A FAF is required within 72 hours of your medical absence.
  • "What if I can't get the FAF (or other required medical information) submitted on time"?

    If you are experiencing difficulty getting your FAF completed on time as a result of appointment delays or you are checked in to the Hospital and unable to get the FAF completed, please contact your local Disability Management Specialist and/or your immediate Manager/Supervisor.  Communication is key to this process and we may be able to assist or offer suggestions that you may not have considered.
  • "How often should I contact my Manager/Supervisor to provide an update on my progress?"

    It is integral to the recovery process that a person try to stay engaged with their workplace.  Please contact your Manager/Supervisor and/or local Disability Management Specialist on a weekly basis to advise how your recovery is going and when you may be expecting to RTW.  No confidential information need be shared. 
  • "I do not wish to share information with my Manager/Supervisor about my medical condition. Do I have to?" 

Yes, by law the company is entitled to employees' functional abilities, restrictions and/or limitations, prognosis, and/or projected RTW date.  If you work in a safety critical position and/or Occupational Health Services (OHS) is assisting with management of your medical absence, additional medical information; such as, diagnosis, treatment plan, and medications may be requested, but this information will be maintained confidentially within the OHS Department.