The purpose of this policy is to provide a framework for the effective operation of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at OSS and to give guidance to staff and nominated managers/supervisors when the need to access the program arises.
The aim of the EAP is early identification and provision of assistance to help resolve either work-related or personal issues. Matters that may be addressed through the EAP include, but are not limited to:
The EAP provided services are therefore available to assist staff who are seeking to address such personal or work-related issues.
This policy applies to all current OSS employees and immediate families.
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Wellbeing and Support – Employee Assistance Program
OSS provides access to confidential, professional counselling and support for all staff and their immediate families through the provision of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The key principles of the EAP are to ensure that:
Counselling support offered by the EAP
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is an external professional, confidential counselling service available free-of-charge to all OSS staff members. Immediate family members can also access the external service, namely EAP Assist which are an independent organisation with professional provider accreditation engaged by OSS.
Through the employee Assist® program, offers counselling support to deal with:
Access to EAP is through contacting the Human Resource Department, who will organize relevant sessions with EAP Provider, as required. Staff may choose to access counselling and support services on or outside work hours.
The EAP service is free-of-charge to all OSS staff members who can access up to six sessions within a 12-month period with EAP Assist for each issue the staff member requires assistance for. Immediate family members may also access the external service.
In some instances, a counsellor may offer the option, in addition to their services, of a referral to a specialist agency, such as a solicitor, accountant, medical practitioner, specialist or another counsellor. If a referral is accepted, any costs involved are to be met by the staff member or family member.
Leave to attend counselling
The arrangements for taking time off during business hours will be the same as existing between supervisors and staff members for any form of absence from the workplace.
Confidentiality and disclosure of personal information
A staff member who wants to access the EAP service is not required to inform anyone of this or the reason for accessing EAP. Should a staff member wish to advise their supervisor that they are attending EAP, the supervisor is required to observe the strictest confidentiality and to support the staff member in accessing the EAP. Conversations and any information the staff member shares with a psychologist will be in the strictest confidence and will not be communicated further unless written authorisation is given by the staff member. OSS will not receive information from the psychologist concerning the staff member’s situation.
The three methods of referral to the Employee Assistance Program for counselling are:
The EAP is designed to encourage self-referrals where the staff member has personal problems which they want to discuss in a private and confidential setting without anyone in the organisation being involved in any way. Where a staff member decides to contact the external provider, they need to advise EAP Assist that they are from the OSS. Appropriate counsellors will then be allocated.
A colleague, supervisor/manager, Human Capital department, Employee Assistance, family member, doctor, or someone else may recognise that a staff member is distressed or going through a difficult time and suggest using the EAP.
Management referral – informal
Although EAP is designed to encourage self-referral, there may be occasions when supervisors/ managers suggest that a staff member seek counselling to assist with personal issues. Staff may, of course, decline the offer of counselling assistance.
If the nature of the problem is such that further professional help is considered necessary or desirable, the provider will refer the staff member to an appropriate agency. If the staff member chooses to take up a referral outside the EAP, the staff member is responsible for any associated costs.
Is an online health and wellbeing portal that provides access to information and articles, self- assessment tools, videos and podcasts, online counselling and support, a range of financial literacy and learning modules and many more tools and resources.
Provides confidential counselling, coaching and support for employees and their immediate family members for a broad range of work and life issues. These include issues regarding relationships, family, money, conflict, drug and alcohol, stress, communication, grief and loss, self-esteem, and confidence.
A member of the staff member’s household; or a member of the staff member’s immediate family which includes spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling or any other person with whom OSS is satisfied that the staff member has a genuine family relationship.
Provides confidential coaching and support for managers in dealing with the people issues that present on a regular basis. This can be around a broad range of issues such as performance, conflict, communication, individual or team behaviour.