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Covering the cost of accommodations


Accommodating employees with disabilities such as cancer may not be expensive. To watch a presentation on this topic, view The cost of accommodating employees in the workplace to learn about technological advances in accommodations, and myths and realities about the costs of workplace accommodation. (The free WebEx software may be required.)

Many accommodation costs are low, such as for software and adaptive furniture. Others such as flexible hours, working at home and adjusting work tasks may cost nothing. Some organizations may already offer these benefits to all employees so they can better handle their family responsibilities, for example.1 Many accommodations are simply practicing effective management rather than making exceptions.2

Here are some ways to cover the costs of accommodations:3

  • Grants or subsidies to businesses
  • Tax deductions or other government benefits
  • Reasonable changes to business practices
  • Distributing cost over the whole organization, rather than one department
  • Phasing in accommodations gradually
  • Spreading the cost over time by taking out loans, issuing shares or bonds, or using other financing methods such as amortization or depreciation
  • Considering productivity improvements, business expansion through improved accessibility, increase in the value of business or property
  • Adopting less expensive alternatives that respect the accommodated employee’s dignity
  • Setting up a reserve fund for accommodations