Staff Assistance Services - Policy

Printer-friendly version

1. Purpose and Objectives

The University recognises that a variety of problems have the potential to affect work performance or the ability of staff to function socially within their work environment. This policy outlines the internal and external services available to staff to help resolve these problems.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Enterprise Agreement – The University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014 - 2017

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy applies to all University staff.

4. Policy Statement

The University provides a suite of staff assistance services which offer support to all University staff. The details of these services are outlined in the associated procedures (PPL 5.70.06b).

Many people experience issues and concerns that may, at times, affect their well-being, general functioning and, ultimately, work performance. Some of these problems may be resolved or alleviated by professional intervention, either internally or externally to the University. Examples of issues and concerns for which professional help may be appropriate include health, personal and work relationships, personal issues, workplace change and pressures, equity, discrimination, harassment, bullying and sexual harassment.

5. Staff Assistance Services Principles

5.1 Duty of care

The University has a duty of care for its staff and their well-being.

5.2 Satisfactory work performance

It is expected that University staff aim to maintain a satisfactory standard of work performance. If a problem exists that is affecting performance, staff are encouraged to seek early help to resolve the situation.

5.3 Confidentiality

Upon the first planned engagement with an assistance provider, the staff member will receive an overview of the extent of confidentiality they can expect from that provider.

All information disclosed to University-appointed external Employee Assistance counsellors is confidential. No reports are given to supervisors, managers or the Chief Human Resources Officer without the consent of the staff member.

To conform to the requirements of confidentiality, the names of staff attending external counselling are not included on invoices from the external counselling provider. These invoices do not contain any information on staff issues and concerns or the nature of the discussion between the staff member and the external service provider.

In contrast, support from the University’s internal Staff Support and Rehabilitation Advisors is provided with the understanding that the Advisors may disclose to relevant University supervisors and/or managers the nature of the issue, any functional implications for the workplace and any related reasonable adjustments and managerial responses. Any associated medical documentation and meeting notes are filed on a confidential staff file (not the individual’s staff file) and access is restricted to authorised staff.

5.4 No adverse consequences

Involvement with an assistance program will not of itself affect a staff member’s current position or career prospects.

5.5 Voluntary participation

Staff are encouraged to seek assistance themselves. A supervisor or manager may recommend or encourage engagement with the University’s internal or external provider. The decision to make contact with the external provider rests with the staff member. A staff member may, however, be required to attend an appointment with the internal provider should there be health, welfare or safety concerns.

5.6 Cost

There is no charge when working with the Staff Support and Rehabilitation Advisor or, in the case of the external provider, for the first six hours of case management.

A service provider may refer a staff member to a private medical practitioner or other specialist agency. The staff member may refuse this advice. If the staff member accepts this advice, the costs involved are the responsibility of the staff member. Staff are encouraged to enquire whether treatment is covered under Medicare or their own medical insurance policy.

5.7 Leave provisions

Staff accessing internal services do so in ordinary working time. Staff accessing external services may choose to do so after hours or, if during business hours, may take the time off as Personal Leave.

Chief Human Resources Officer


Staff Assistance Services - Procedures

Printer-friendly version

1. Purpose and Objectives

These procedures enact PPL 5.70.06a Staff Assistance Services – Policy.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

EAP - Employee Assistance Program

UQHS – the University’s Health Service

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to all University staff.

4. Procedures Statement

These procedures list the University’s current staff assistance services and the contact details of the service providers.

5. Directory of Services and Providers

Issue or concern

Examples of issue or concern


Personal and/or work-related issues or concerns

  • relationships
  • work/life balance
  • anxiety, stress and depression
  • career
  • bereavement, grief and loss
  • conflict
  • improving communication
  • drug, alcohol and addictions
  • legal and financial issues
  • coping with change
  • parenting

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

This service is available to all UQ staff and their immediate family. 

Discrimination, harassment and bullying

  • Discrimination or harassment - on the basis of sex, sexuality, gender identity, lawful sexual activity, relationship status, parental status, family responsibilities, pregnancy, breastfeeding, age, race, impairment, religious belief or non-belief or activity, trade union activity or associated with a person identified by one of the above grounds.
  • Bullying - repeated less favourable treatment of a person by another or others in the workplace, which may be considered unreasonable and inappropriate workplace practice. It includes behaviour that intimidates, offends, degrades or humiliates.

Discrimination and harassment contact officers

Workplace Diversity and Inclusion, Human Resources Division
Phone: 07 3356 6253 (ext. 66253) or 07 3346 0402 (ext. 60402)

Employee Relations Unit
Human Resources Division
Contact Human Resources Division
Phone: Reception 07 3365 2055 (ext: 52055)

Workplace issues or concerns

  • workload pressures
  • interpersonal difficulties in the workplace
  • organisational change and restructuring
  • productivity and communication grievances
  • mental health issues/concerns

Workplace Psychologist, Workplace Relations, Human Resources Services


Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Health or medical issues

  • sudden illness or accidents at work
  • advice on work-related health problems (e.g. noise-induced hearing loss, sun exposure) or the interaction between health and work
  • preventive health care and health promotion activities
  • advice concerning (and vaccination to prevent) occupational infection e.g. tetanus, hepatitis B, Q fever and diseases associated with international travel
  • counselling and referral for work related or personal problems

UQ Health Care (UQHC)

Occupational Health Nurse Advisor
07 3365 6925 (ext: 56925)
or ohna@uq.edu.au

Workers’ Compensation claims and rehabilitation programs

  • Workers’ Compensation claims and payments
  • assistance with medical and rehabilitation programs in the workplace
  • guidance for ergonomics and workplace health and safety

Work Injury Management Team

Ergonomics and Rehabilitation Advisor 


Pastoral or ethical concerns

  • personal, family, religious or spiritual difficulties
  • marriage counselling

Chaplaincy Services

Sexual harassment

  • any form of sexual conduct that is unwelcome, uninvited, and unwarranted

Discrimination and harassment contact officers

Employee Relations Unit
Human Resources Division
Contact Human Resources Division Reception
Phone: 07 3365 2055 (ext: 52055)

Workplace Diversity and Inclusion, Human Resources Division
Phone: 07 3356 6253 (ext. 66253) or 07 3346 0402 (ext. 60402)


Chief Human Resources Officer
Chief Human Resources Officer