EAP Guidelines

Purpose

These guidelines define the services, terms and conditions of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) of the University.

Scope

These guidelines apply across all campuses of the University and apply to all eligible staff and members of their immediate families (as defined).

Definitions

Eligible Staff: Any member of the University staff who is employed at the time they contact the EAP Service Provider.
Immediate Family: Children, partners, parents or siblings of an eligible staff member who reside at the same address as the eligible staff member.

Eligible staff and members of their immediate family are collectively referred to as "eligible users" in the guideline.

Supervisors: Any Head of School, Head of Department, Director, Manager or Supervisor who has the responsibility for the management of staff.
Employee Assistance Program: A professional employee support service intended for eligible users who face difficulties that affect their well being, work performance or enjoyment of the workplace. The Employee Assistance Program is intended to provide short-term assistance to eligible users and is strictly confidential. The service provided by an independent, external organisation (the "EAP Service Provider") with registered psychologists conducting all counselling.

Examples of issues that may benefit from the services available under the Employee Assistance Program include:

  • work-related problems such as stress or organisational change;
  • family problems and relationship difficulties;
  • interpersonal conflict;
  • alcohol and other substance use;
  • legal or financial difficulties;
  • grief and loss; and
  • emotional stress and trauma.

Services available under the Employee Assistance Program include:

  • individual phone counselling or off-site face-to-face counselling;
  • consultation and advice to supervisors and managers facing difficult workplace situations;
  • conflict resolution; and
  • access to trauma management services.
Manager Help Desk: A service provided under the Employee Assistance Program to all supervisors of the University. The Manager Help Desk provides advice and support to Supervisors with regard to staff management and/or other issues affecting their particular workplace. The Manager Help Desk also provides a forum for supervisors to discuss their own issues.

The service is free and confidential and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

EAP Service Provider: An independent organisation appointed by the University to provide employee assistance services to eligible users (as defined).

Details of the current EAP Service Provider can be obtained from the following sources:

  • The University's EAP Coordinator;
  • Promotional posters and printed information available in staff induction pack, displayed in staff rooms and in area where staff member meet or congregate;
  • University Web pages; and
  • EAP Promotional Forums.
Level of Service: The EAP Service Provider determines the appropriate level of service required by an eligible user, up to a maximum of six hours of free counselling time in a twelve-month period for each user.

If further counselling is recommended or if specialised services outside the scope of the Employee Assistance Program are recommended, this will be at the expense of the eligible user. The EAP Service Provider will clearly indicate any associated cost to the eligible user when making their recommendation.

The decision to accept these recommendations remains with the eligible user.

In certain circumstances, the EAP Coordinator may approve additional sessions that will be paid for by the University.  In these circumstances, the EAP Service Provider will suggest that eligible users contact the EAP Coordinator to make the request

Confidentiality: The Employee Assistance Program seeks to maintain strict confidentiality for eligible users:
  • All individual counsellors under the EAP abide by relevant ethical and professional codes of conduct, including as they apply to confidentiality;
  • The EAP Service Provider ensures security of records associated with the EAP;
  • Quarterly management reports provided by the EAP Service Provider to the University are designed to prevent the identification of individual users of the service; and
  • The EAP Service Provider ensures that appointments organised under the EAP for eligible users are scheduled in a way that maintains confidentiality, i.e. no appointments in adjacent time slots for eligible users from the University or from the same family.
EAP Coordinator: A person appointed by the University to oversee the operation of the EAP service and liaise with the EAP Service Provider on behalf of the University.

All queries, concerns or complaints regarding the EAP should be addressed to the EAP Coordinator, Human Resources Department, Mt Helen Campus.

Actions

Self Referral

Eligible users can call the EAP Service Provider at any time for assistance with any problem.  If a face-to-face appointment is desirable, staff members may make that appointment during work hours, with full pay upon presentation of a certificate of attendance.  However, as staff are expected to consult with their supervisor/manager before leaving the workplace, it is generally advisable for confidentiality reasons to make such appointments outside work hours or to use leave entitlements for the time off work.

Eligible supervisors of the University can access the EAP Manager Help Desk for telephone counselling and guidance on staff management issues.  If necessary, a face-to-face Manager Help Desk appointment can be arranged.

Note:  Off campus or telephone counselling services are free.  If an on-campus service is required fees will be incurred.  If a school or section requests on-campus counselling, the cost of the service may be charged to the school or section depending on the circumstances.

Supervisor Referral

Supervisors may consider it appropriate to suggest a staff member use the Employee Assistance Program.  Staff members retain the right to accept or refuse this recommendation.

Refusal to make use of the Employee Assistance Program cannot be the subject of any disciplinary action.

Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution services may be requested via the EAP Coordinator.  Conflict resolution services under the EAP Service Provider must meet the following criteria:

  • The conflict situation involves eligible members of staff and is having an impact on the workplace;
  • The relevant Head of Program, Head of School, Head of Section, Deputy Vice-Chancellor/Chief Operating Officer, or the Vice-Chancellor has contacted the EAP Coordinator seeking the involvement of the EAP Service Provider's conflict resolution services; and
  • The EAP Coordinator is satisfied that the person requesting the service has made sufficient attempts to have the matter resolved internally.

The involvement of any party in conflict resolution sessions is voluntary.  Refusal to take part in a conflict resolution session cannot be the subject of any disciplinary action by itself.

The cost of the conflict resolution service will be met by the School or Section requesting the service.

Critical Incident Management/Debrief

Critical Incident Management and debrief services can be arranged following a traumatic event that has a significant impact or affect on staff members.  Critical Incident Management services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and individual or group sessions will be arranged as required.

Critical Incident Management/Debrief is available to eligible staff members at the request of the relevant Head of Program, Head of School, Head of Section, Deputy Vice-Chancellor/Chief Operating Officer or the Vice-Chancellor.

Requests for Critical Incident Management and Debriefs can be made to the EAP Coordinator or the Director, Human Resources.

Following a request for service, the EAP Service Provider will discuss circumstances of the event with the relevant Head of Program, Head of School, Head of Section, Deputy Vice-Chancellor/Chief Operating Officer or the Vice-Chancellor directly and will determine the appropriate level of services needed.

The purpose of the debrief is to:

  • provide support and advice to staff members following a traumatic event;
  • minimise the development of more serious problems that may arise as a result on the traumatic event;
  • initiate a recovery process;
  • educate the staff members on the common responses to a trauma; and
  • provide strategies to implement in the workplace to support affected staff members.

Involvement in a critical incident debrief is voluntary.  Supervisors can only recommend staff attend debriefing sessions.

Depending on the circumstances of the critical incident, the cost of the debrief sessions may be charged to the school or section requesting the service.

Home/Hospital Visits

In certain circumstances the EAP Service Provider can be requested to visit an eligible staff member in hospital or at home.

Requests for home or hospital visits must be made by or agreed to by the eligible staff member following a critical incident or serious workplace accident.  Supervisors cannot arrange a home/hospital visit without the consent of the staff member.

The Supervisor will request the EAP Coordinator contact the EAP Service Provider to arrange the visit.

Home/Hospital visits are limited to one visit per eligible staff member per calendar year.  If appropriate, during the visit the EAP Service Provider will make arrangements for the eligible staff member to receive further counselling via critical incident debrief services or the regular EAP service.

Depending on the circumstances, the cost of a home/hospital visit may be charged to the school or section requesting the service.

Training and Staff Development

The EAP Service Provider can provide training and staff development services.

Any School or Section within the University can request specific training sessions be arranged for their staff members by contacting the EAP Coordinator.

Confidentiality and Reporting

Regular reports are provided by the EAP Service Provider to the University.  The information contained in the reports is designed to prevent the identification of an individual user.

Reports will also be forwarded to the EAP Coordinator and the requesting Head of Program, Head of School, Head of Section, Deputy Vice-Chancellor/Chief Operating Officer or the Vice-Chancellor for conflict resolution and critical incident debrief cases.  The content of these reports will be confidential and detail the circumstances, the services provided and provide advice or make recommendations to the ongoing management of the specific situations.

Responsibility

The Director, Human Resources is responsible for all aspects of the Employee Assistance Program.