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Employee Health and Wellbeing Procedure

Procedure overview

1 Purpose

To outline the procedure that supports the University's commitment to creating a safe and healthy working environment for its Employees.

2 Scope

This procedure applies to all Employees.

3 Procedure Overview

This procedure outlines the activities and resources available to Employees to improve and support positive health and wellbeing and specifies applicable responsibilities and processes.

4 Procedures

4.1 Commitment to health and wellbeing

The University is committed to addressing health and safety concerns in the work environment, as well as providing a range of programs, activities and health resources for its Employees.

Employees will be encouraged to participate in University and community activities to improve the health of themselves, their families and other members of the community.

4.2 Responsibilities

4.2.1 University

To support this commitment the University will:

  • promote and support a positive approach to psychological, physical, social, emotional, cultural, organisational and professional health and wellbeing;
  • provide professional development training opportunities for Supervisors and Employees to promote and raise awareness of the benefits of positive health and wellbeing;
  • provide accessible information in relevant Policy Instruments and websites regarding access to internal and external support, activities and programs available to Supervisors and Employees to support positive health and wellbeing and to recognise the signs and symptoms of poor health and wellbeing;
  • appropriately and securely create, store and archive all documentation pertaining to health related Employee information as provided in the Records Management Governance Policy and Procedure;
  • maintain confidentiality in the management of any health related Employee matters;
  • provide regular statistical reports on Employee health and wellbeing and brief the Vice-Chancellor on any issues arising from the reports.

4.2.2 Supervisors

All Supervisors have an obligation and responsibility to ensure that appropriate steps are taken to minimise and eliminate health and safety risks in the workplace including both psychological and physical risks. This includes attending regular professional development programs to ensure compliance with safety, privacy, Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying legislative obligations and to promote and understand the benefits and importance of positive health and wellbeing.

This obligation and responsibility also includes ensuring a workplace culture that promotes and supports a positive approach to psychological, physical, social, emotional, cultural, organisational and professional wellbeing.

Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that all Employees have completed their mandatory induction and compliance training and are able to attend and participate in professional development training opportunities, activities and programs that support positive health and wellbeing.

Supervisors need to effectively communicate with Employees regarding workplace concerns and changes and are primarily responsible for recognising, supporting and resolving work related matters at the local level. Supervisors are also responsible for the equitable and transparent distribution of work allocation amongst Employees and ensuring that work allocations are fair and reasonable.

In supporting Employees who have, or are absent as a result of, health and wellbeing issues, Supervisors have an obligation to ensure that Employees are treated sensitively and appropriately. Supervisors also have an obligation to engage with Human Resources, the Employee and their treating medical practitioner to ensure that they are supported and that, where appropriate, reasonable adjustments are made to assist the Employee. All health matters must be treated confidentially and privately unless there is an imminent threat to the individual or to others.

4.2.3 Employees

Employees have an obligation to comply with safety, privacy, Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying legislation and to promote and understand the benefits and importance of positive health and wellbeing. All Employees have an obligation to conduct themselves in accordance with the University's Code of Conduct Policy. Employees found to have breached these obligations may be subject to the University's disciplinary procedures.

Employees also have a responsibility for ensuring a workplace culture that promotes and supports a positive approach to psychological, physical, social, emotional, cultural, organisational and professional wellbeing for themselves and their colleagues.

Employees are required to regularly attend professional development training programs to promote and support positive health and wellbeing and to support Employees with assisting colleagues who may have health concerns.

Employees are required to undertake mandatory induction and compliance activities to promote and support positive health and wellbeing.

Employees are ultimately responsible for their own health and wellbeing and have an obligation to raise any issues or concerns with their Supervisor in the first instance, where appropriate. Where an Employee is unable to discuss issues with their Supervisor, advice can be sought from their Supervisor's supervisor.

Employees are encouraged to advise colleagues experiencing poor health and wellbeing to seek support from their Supervisor, or the University's Employee Assistance Program.

Employees absent from the workplace due to a work or non-work related illness or injury are encouraged, where appropriate, and in consultation with their treating medical practitioner, to engage with Human Resources, their Supervisor to develop a suitable duties or return to work plan.

4.3 Programs, activities and support for positive health and wellbeing

The University is committed to providing programs, activities and support that focus on the following seven areas of positive health and wellbeing outlined in the University's Health and Wellbeing Framework:

  • psychological;
  • physical;
  • social;
  • emotional;
  • cultural;
  • organisational; and
  • professional.

The University will support these areas of wellbeing through the following three broad strategies:

  • promotion and awareness;
  • early response; and
  • monitoring and prevention.

Further, the University is committed to providing a broad range of programs and activities to support the diverse health and wellbeing needs of its Employees. The University will maintain a consultative approach in the implementation of programs, activities and support for positive health and wellbeing to ensure Employee needs are met.

An outline of support, programs and activities to promote and encourage positive health and wellbeing is provided below.

4.3.1 Freedom from Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment

The University is committed to providing an environment that is free from Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment. The University takes all reasonable steps to ensure Employees are treated with dignity and respect and adopts a zero-tolerance approach to Bullying and Harassment.

Complaints of Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment are treated seriously by the University and Employees are provided with the opportunity to raise a Complaint of Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment in accordance with the Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment Complaints against Employees Procedure.

4.3.2 Domestic and Family Violence support

The University acknowledges that Employees may experience Domestic and Family violence in their personal lives and that this may impact on an Employee's attendance at work or their ability to perform work activities. The University is committed to supporting Employees experiencing Domestic and Family Violence to continue to participate in work activities. Support arrangements are outlined in the Employee Domestic and Family Violence Support Procedure.

4.3.3 Flexible working arrangements

The University is committed to providing a range of flexible work arrangements to support Employees in balancing their personal and professional interests. Flexible work arrangements are outlined in the University's Enterprise Agreement 2014-2017 and Flexible Working Arrangements Procedure.

4.3.4 Workplace rehabilitation and return to work for work and non-work related injuries

The University actively supports Employees to return to work following a work or non-work related illness or injury. The University works closely with the injured Employee, their Supervisor and treating medical practitioners to return the Employee to work through the development of a suitable duties or return to work program, as provided in the Rehabilitation and Workers' Compensation Procedure.

4.3.5 USQ Fit and Well Corporate Health Program

The USQ Fit and Well Corporate Health Program provides free membership and access to all group classes to eligible Employees. The aim of the program is to improve the health and fitness, including the mental health and wellbeing, of Employees, and to develop a culture that encourages the adoption of a healthy lifestyle. Information on the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can be found on the Human Resources website.

4.3.6 Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides free confidential counselling for Employees and their families through employeeAssist®, with a separate program available for Supervisors, managerAssist®. The eapdirect® provides online resources on a range of issues impacting individuals, including dietician and financial support, relaxation and sleep techniques, and workplace conflict resolution methods. Information on the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can be found on the Human Resources website.

4.3.7 Professional development

Through the HR Learning and Development Program a number of training programs are provided to assist Supervisors and Employees to develop and maintain a positive workplace culture in which the health and wellbeing of Employees is supported. Information on these programs can be found on the Human Resources website.

5 References

Nil.

6 Schedules

This procedure must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

7 Procedure Information

Subordinate Schedules

Accountable Officer

Executive Director (Finance and People Capability)

Policy Type

University Procedure

Approved Date

30/3/2016

Effective Date

30/3/2016

Review Date

30/3/2019

Relevant Legislation

Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012

Mental Health Act 2000

University of Southern Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014 - 2017

Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012

Related Policies

Code of Conduct Policy

Employee Equity and Diversity Policy

Privacy Policy

Records Management Governance Policy and Procedure

Work Health and Safety Policy

Related Procedures

Alcohol and Drugs on University Sites Procedure

Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment Complaints against Employees Procedure

Employee Domestic and Family Violence Support Procedure

Employee Induction and Onboarding Procedure

Flexible Working Arrangements Procedure

Prevention of Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment Procedure

Rehabilitation and Workers' Compensation Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites

Domestic and Family Violence Risk Assessment Checklist

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Health and Wellbeing Framework

Human Resources website

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Bullying

Bullying occurs where an individual or group of individuals repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards a person or group of persons (in this instance, a Student or group of Students), and that behaviour creates a risk to health and safety....moreBullying occurs where an individual or group of individuals repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards a person or group of persons (in this instance, a Student or group of Students), and that behaviour creates a risk to health and safety.

Complaint

An expression of dissatisfaction made in relation to an action, Decision or omission within the responsibility and control of the University, a University Member or a Student, where a response or resolution process is expected wherever possible....moreAn expression of dissatisfaction made in relation to an action, Decision or omission within the responsibility and control of the University, a University Member or a Student, where a response or resolution process is expected wherever possible.

Discrimination

Occurs when a person or a group of people are treated less favourably than another person or group because of race, colour, national or ethnic origin; gender or marital status; disability; religion or political beliefs; sexual preference; or some other central characteristic. Discrimination may occur when a person is denied the opportunity to participate freely and fully in normal day-...moreOccurs when a person or a group of people are treated less favourably than another person or group because of race, colour, national or ethnic origin; gender or marital status; disability; religion or political beliefs; sexual preference; or some other central characteristic. Discrimination may occur when a person is denied the opportunity to participate freely and fully in normal day-to-day activities, for example being harassed in the workplace or being denied entry to public places and other facilities.

Domestic and Family Violence

Domestic and Family Violence behaviour includes, but is not limited to, physical or sexual violence, emotional or psychological abuse, financial abuse or any behaviour that is threatening or coercive or in any other way controls or dominates an individual which causes safety or well-being concerns for that individual....moreDomestic and Family Violence behaviour includes, but is not limited to, physical or sexual violence, emotional or psychological abuse, financial abuse or any behaviour that is threatening or coercive or in any other way controls or dominates an individual which causes safety or well-being concerns for that individual.

Employee

A person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University....moreA person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University.

Harassment

Occurs when a person is made to feel intimidated, insulted or humiliated because of their race, colour, national or ethnic origin; sex; disability; sexual preference; or some other characteristic specified under anti-discrimination or human rights legislation. Harassment may include behaviour, comments or images which a reasonable person would consider to be offensive, humiliating, int...moreOccurs when a person is made to feel intimidated, insulted or humiliated because of their race, colour, national or ethnic origin; sex; disability; sexual preference; or some other characteristic specified under anti-discrimination or human rights legislation. Harassment may include behaviour, comments or images which a reasonable person would consider to be offensive, humiliating, intimidating or threatening.

Policy Instrument

The tools and instruments used by the University to implement its Policies, including but not limited to, Procedures, charters, schedules and manuals....moreThe tools and instruments used by the University to implement its Policies, including but not limited to, Procedures, charters, schedules and manuals.

Regulatory Compliance Instrument

An external compliance instrument provided by legislation, regulation, standards, statutes or rules, including subordinate instruments....moreAn external compliance instrument provided by legislation, regulation, standards, statutes or rules, including subordinate instruments.

University

The term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland....moreThe term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland.

Vice-Chancellor

The person bearing the title of Vice-Chancellor and President, or as otherwise defined in the University of Southern Queensland Act 1998, including a person acting in that position....moreThe person bearing the title of Vice-Chancellor and President, or as otherwise defined in the University of Southern Queensland Act 1998, including a person acting in that position.

Definitions that relate to this procedure only

Supervisor

Any person responsible for leading the activities of others. In the context of this procedure, a Supervisor includes Employees at any classification level or title who have responsibilities for leading, managing or supervising work teams and/or individual Employees.

Keywords

Health, wellbeing, Discrimination, Bullying, Harassment, EAP

Record No

16/364PL

Failure to comply with this Policy or Policy Instrument may be considered as misconduct and the provisions of the relevant Policy or Procedure applied.

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