Commitment to accessibility

Manulife is committed to offering products and services to persons with disabilities, in ways that are consistent with the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity. Manulife has a core belief that everyone should be treated with courtesy and respect and made to feel welcome.

We believe in integration and equal opportunity. We are committed to meeting the needs of persons with disabilities in a timely manner and will do so by preventing and removing barriers to accessibility and meeting accessibility requirements in accordance with accessibility laws and standards.

We support the intent of accessibility standards and their goal to provide accessible goods and services to persons with disabilities. We are committed to achieving accessibility throughout our operations in Canada. We have taken a strategic approach to implementation by establishing a Steering Committee and Working Group. The Steering Committee is comprised of senior leaders, representing all areas of our organization and is responsible for ensuring the goals of our multi-year accessibility plan are achieved. The Working Group is comprised of representatives from appropriate areas within the company and reports into the Steering Committee.

The Multi-Year Accessibility Plan is our framework to identify and eliminate barriers for persons with disabilities, and support accessibility requirements and initiatives. The plan is reviewed by the Steering Committee every five years and updated as Manulife achieves the requirements of the plan.

This section summarizes what Manulife is doing to provide accessible goods and services to persons with disabilities.

Our vision

Manulife is a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. We provide financial advice, insurance, as well as wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. We believe that providing accessible products and services is a very important part of being a professional and socially responsible financial services company.

As a leading global financial services group, we’re in the privileged position of being able to help millions of customers live longer and healthier lives, protect what matters the most, manage their wealth and save for retirement. Our mission is to help people make decisions easier and lives better.

We believe that we have a clear responsibility to make a positive contribution to society that goes beyond our financial performance. Providing accessible products and services is a very important part of our goal to transform Manulife into a digital, customer-centric market leader.

Accessibility details

If you would like more information about accessibility at Manulife, we encourage you to review the following information or to contact us at accessibility@manulife.ca or 1-855-891-8671.

Manulife will communicate with persons with disabilities in ways that take into account their accessibility needs.

This means staff will communicate in a way that enables persons with disabilities to communicate effectively for purposes of using, receiving and requesting goods, services and facilities.

Upon request, we will provide, or arrange for the provision of, accessible formats or communication supports for persons with disabilities in a timely manner, taking into account the person's accessibility needs due to disability, and at a cost that is no more than the regular cost charged to other persons.  

We will consult with the customer to determine the suitability of the accessible format or communication support.

Please contact us at accessibility@manulife.ca or 1-855-891-8671 to request an alternate format or communications supports.

Manulife will ensure that our public internet websites, including web content, conform to the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 – Level AA, except where this is not possible.

Manulife is committed to serving persons with disabilities who use assistive devices to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and services.

Manulife will ensure that staff are familiar with and can advise customers regarding the assistive devices that are available to help them access our goods and services.

Persons with disabilities may bring their service animal on the parts of our premises that are open to the public.

Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to have that support person accompany them on company premises.

When support persons are required (e.g., sign language interpreters, real-time captioners, attendants) for company meetings, consultations, or events, Manulife will, upon request, pay support persons directly for their time and reasonable travel expenses, in accordance with company travel and hospitality guidelines.

On rare occasions where Manulife determines that, in compliance with other applicable laws, a support person or a service animal is unable to enter an area of the premises, we will suggest appropriate alternatives and provide assistance.

Manulife will continue to consider accessibility needs when designing, procuring or acquiring our self-serve kiosks to better serve persons with disabilities.

Manulife will notify customers in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services used by persons with disabilities. The notice will include information about the reason for the disruption, how long the disruption is expected to last, and a description of any alternative facilities or services that are available.

The notice will be placed at all public entrances and reception counters on our premises. Depending on the nature of the disruption, notice will also be provided on outgoing telephone recordings and/or on Company websites.

Manulife will provide customer service training to all staff who interact with our customers and who are involved in the development of customer service policies, practices and procedures. Training will be provided to new staff at the time of hire and to any current staff at the time they take on customer service responsibilities.

Manulife will provide staff with training that includes:

  • A review of the purposes of accessibility laws, accessible customer service standards, and human rights codes that relate to people with disabilities.
  • Tips on how to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities.
  • How to interact with persons with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person.
  • How to use the equipment or devices available on Manulife’s premises, or otherwise, that may assist with the provision of goods or services to persons with disabilities.
  • What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty in accessing Manulife’s goods and services.
  • Manulife’s policies, practices and procedures relating to the provision of goods or services to persons with disabilities.

Training will be provided to:

  • All its employees and volunteers;
  • All persons who participate in developing Manulife’s policies; and
  • All other persons who provide goods, services, or facilities on behalf of Manulife.

The training will be appropriate and geared towards the duties of the employees, volunteers and other persons. Training will also be provided when changes are made to Manulife’s accessibility policies. Manulife will keep a record of the training it provides.

Manulife will notify its employees and the public about the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in its recruitment process.

Manulife will notify job applicants, when they are individually selected to participate further in an assessment or selection process, that accommodations are available upon request in relation to the materials or processes to be used.

If a selected applicant requests an accommodation, Manulife will consult with the applicant and provide, or arrange for the provision of, a suitable accommodation in a manner that takes into account the applicant’s accessibility needs due to disability.

When making offers of employment, Manulife will notify the successful applicant of its policies for accommodating employees with disabilities.

Manulife will continue to inform its employees of its policies, and any updates to those policies, used to support employees with disabilities, including policies on the provision of job accommodations that take into account an employee’s accessibility needs due to disability. This information will be provided to new employees as soon as possible after commencing employment.

Upon the request of an employee with a disability, Manulife will consult with the employee to provide, or arrange for the provision of, accessible formats and communication supports for information that is needed to perform their job, and information that is generally available to other employees. In determining the suitability of an accessible format or communication support, Manulife will consult with the employee making the request. 

Manulife will provide individualized workplace emergency response information to employees who have a disability, if the disability is such that the individualized information is necessary, and if Manulife is aware of the need for accommodation due to the employee’s disability. Manulife will provide this information as soon as possible after becoming aware of the need for accommodation.

Where the employee requires assistance, Manulife will, with the consent of the employee, provide the workplace emergency response information to the person designated by Manulife, to provide assistance to the employee.

Manulife will review the individualized workplace emergency response information when the employee moves to a different location in the organization, when the employee’s overall accommodations needs or plans are reviewed.

Manulife maintains a written process for the development of documented individual accommodation plans for employees with disabilities.

If requested, information regarding accessible formats and communication supports provided to the employee will also be included in individual accommodation plans.

In addition, the plans will include individualized workplace emergency response information (where required) and will identify any other accommodation that is to be provided. 

Manulife maintains a documented return to work process for its employees who have been absent from work due to a disability and who require disability-related accommodations in order to return to work.

The return to work process outlines the steps Manulife will take to facilitate the return to work and will include documented individual accommodation plans as part of the process.

This return to work process will not replace or override any other return to work process created by or under any other statute.

Manulife takes into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities, as well as individual accommodation plans, when conducting performance management, providing career development and advancement to employees, or when redeploying employees.

Manulife will maintain and document a Multi-Year Accessibility Plan outlining the company’s strategy to prevent and remove barriers from its workplace and to improve opportunities for persons with disabilities.

The Multi-Year Accessibility Plan is posted on the Company’s internal and external websites.

This Multi-Year Accessibility Plan outlines The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company’s (Manulife) commitments to identify and eliminate barriers for persons with disabilities and support accessibility standards and initiatives. The plan will be reviewed every five years and updated as Manulife meets the requirements of the plan. This plan includes both new and continuing priorities and commitments that will help Manulife achieve its goal of identifying, removing and preventing barriers to accessibility.

This Multi-Year Accessibility Plan, in addition to our policies, procedures and processes, is intended to promote outcomes for our customers that are consistent with the principles outlined in Manulife’s Fair Treatment of Customers Policy.

If you would like to obtain this document in an alternate format, please contact us at accessibility@manulife.ca or 1-855-891-8671.

Our first plan covered the period of 2012 – 2021. This new Multi-Year Accessibility Plan builds on this work and reaffirms Manulife’s commitment to accessibility across its Canadian operations.

Policies, procedures and processes have been put into practice and are based on best practice research and the general requirements of accessibility standards. They align with Manulife’s belief that everyone should be treated with courtesy and respect and made to feel welcome. We remain committed to complying with our policies and will review them on an ongoing basis for any required changes in order to promote accessibility within our operations.

Accessibility standards and regulations require Manulife to have a statement of commitment, accessibility policies, and a Multi-Year Accessibility Plan.

A statement of commitment and an overview of our accessibility policies and procedures have been posted on our Canadian website (Accessibility | Manulife).

Processes for the development, implementation and maintenance of corporate policies governing how Manulife will achieve accessibility have also been established, and are outlined in the following documents:

  • Accessible Customer Service Policy
  • Integrated Accessibility Standards Policy
  • Multi‑Year Accessibility Plan in consultation with the Steering Committee & Working Group.

Manulife is committed to offering products and services to persons with disabilities, in ways that are consistent with the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity. Manulife has a core belief that everyone should be treated with courtesy and respect and made to feel welcome.

Manulife has put policies, procedures and processes in place to provide accessible customer service. Policies, procedures and processes will be reviewed on a periodic basis and cover the following:  

Communication

How to communicate with persons with disabilities in ways that consider their disability. This means staff will communicate in a way that enables persons with disabilities to communicate effectively for purposes of using, receiving and requesting goods, services and facilities.

Accessible formats and communication supports

How to provide, or arrange for the provision of, accessible formats and communication supports for persons with disabilities in a timely manner, considering the person’s accessibility needs due to disability. These documents will be provided at a cost that is no more than the regular cost charged to other persons.

Assistive devices

The type of devices that are available for customers to use in accessing our goods and services.

Support person and support animal

  • That a support person is allowed to accompany a person with disability on company premises.
  • Persons with disabilities are allowed to bring their service animal on the parts of our premises that are open to the public.

Notice of temporary service disruption

What measures should be taken in the event of a planned or unexpected disruption in the facilities or services used by persons with disabilities. 

Feedback

  • Our commitment to ensure that the feedback process is accessible to persons with disabilities, and the need to receive and respond to feedback from the public in a timely manner that takes into consideration the persons disability.
  • Complaints will be addressed by the Ombudsman.
  • Staff in Ontario have taken the training that outlines the requirements of the accessibility standards and the Human Rights Code as it pertains to persons with disabilities. The training is rolled out to new Ontario employees as part of the new hire curriculum.
  • A refresher training course will be provided in 2021, and will be expanded to all employees who interact with our customers and who are involved in the development of customer service policies, practices and procedures, regardless of their location.
  • Manulife notifies employees and the public about the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in the recruitment process and during the course of employment, including making information available in accessible formats.
  • When a selected applicant requests an accommodation, Manulife will consult with the applicant and provide, or arrange for the provision of, a suitable accommodation in a manner considering the applicants’ accessibility needs.
  • Manulife consults with employees to provide, or arrange for the provision of, accessible formats and communication supports for:
    • information that is needed in order to perform their job, and
    •  information that is generally available to employees in the workplace.
  • Manulife considers the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities when conducting performance management, providing career development and advancement to employees, or when redeploying employees.
  • When making offers of employment, Manulife notifies the successful applicant of its policies for accommodating employees with disabilities.
  • The required information will be provided as soon as possible after we become aware of the need for accommodation due to the employee‘s disability.
  • Manulife:
    • has a return to work process for its employees that require disability-related accommodations in order to return to work, and
    • the process is documented.
  • The return to work process outlines the steps to facilitate the return to work of employees who were absent because of their disability. The documented accommodation plan will be created with the following guidelines:
    • The employee participates in the development of the individual accommodation plan.
    • The employee is assessed on an individual basis.
    • Manulife may request evaluations by outside medical or other experts at Manulife’s expense.
    • The employee can request the participation of a representative from the workplace in the development of the accommodation plan.
    • Steps are taken to protect the privacy of the employee's personal information.
    • The plan outlines the frequency with which the individual accommodation plan will be reviewed and updated, and how.
    • If an individual accommodation plan is denied, the plan will outline how the reasons for the denial are provided to the employee, ensuring that communication is provided in an accessible format.
    • The individual accommodation plan will be provided in a format that takes into account the employee's accessibility needs.

This return to work process does not replace or override any other return to work process under any other statute.

Workplace emergency response information

Manulife will provide individualized workplace emergency response information to employees who have a disability, if the disability is such that the individualized information is necessary, and if Manulife is aware of the need for accommodation due to the employee’s disability. Manulife will take the appropriate steps to determine whether employees require individualized emergency response information.

Performance management, career development & advancement, and redeployment

Manulife will take into account the accessibility needs of employees with disabilities, as well as any individual accommodation plans, when:

  • Using performance management processes with employees with disabilities.
  • Providing career development and advancement to employees with disabilities.
  • Redeploying employees with disabilities.
  • Manulife will endeavor to make our public websites, including web content, conform to the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 – Level AA. Work on ensuring that our external web content complies with WCAG 2.0, Level AA is an ongoing process.
  • Website means a collection of related web pages, images, videos or other digital assets that are addressed relative to a common Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) and accessible to the public.

Manulife will provide customers and other third parties with any publicly available emergency information in an accessible manner, upon request.

Manulife will focus on removing barriers in our buildings and public spaces.

  • Buildings – As of January 1, 2015, new construction and renovations will reflect updated accessibility requirements as outlined by building codes.
  • Public Spaces – Will be redesigned to meet accessibility standards where there is new construction and major changes to existing features.
  • Manulife will maintain procedures for preventative and emergency maintenance of accessible elements in its public spaces.
  • In the event of a planned service disruption to facilities and services that are relied upon by persons with disabilities to access Manulife’s facilities and public spaces, notice of the disruption will be provided in advance. In the event of an unexpected disruption, notice will be provided as soon as possible.

For inquiries or to request an alternate format of this plan, please contact us: accessibility@manulife.ca or 1-855-891-8671.

 

To continue to improve our customer service, we welcome your comments about the provision of our goods and services to people with disabilities. Please contact accessibility@manulife.ca or 1-855-891-8671.

Privacy will be respected and feedback will be reviewed and addressed in accordance with the company’s Complaint Handling protocols.

Customers can expect an acknowledgement within two business days and, in most cases, a response within fifteen business days of the receipt of the complaint.

Manulife is committed to the ongoing review of its policies, practices and procedures.

Any Company policy, practice or procedure that does not respect and promote the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities will be modified or removed.

To obtain this document in an alternate format, please contact accessibility@manulife.ca or 1-855-891-8671.