Employee Assistance Programme

INTRODUCTION

The Company places a high premium on and aims to promote the wellness of its staff members at all times. By implementing an Employee Wellness Programme, the Company wants to support and empower staff members through systems and procedures to solve problems they may experience in their personal lives and at work. The Company recognises that problems of a personal nature can have an adverse effect on an employee’s job, health and feelings of wellness and productivity.

The Company recognises its employees as one of its most important assets and acknowledges that physical fitness, emotional wellbeing and a safe work environment are critical components for a healthy and productive workforce. A safe work environment when combined with physically fit employees, leads to fewer absences from work, less use of medical resources and a motivated employee.

The Employee Wellness Programme recognises that short-term personal and psychological related problems may adversely affect an employee’s wellbeing and their ability to function on the job. Involvement in the Programme will not jeopardise an employee’s job security, compensation, promotional opportunities and/or reputation. If there is any victimisation or discrimination by the employer or colleagues as a result of involvement in the Programme, the matter should be brought to the attention of the Human Resources Manager, and dealt with accordingly.

The Employee Wellness Programme is available to all employees of the Company.

 
OBJECTIVE

It is the objective of the Company to improve the quality of life of all employees through the provision of a quality, sustainable and lifelong wellness programmes that work towards the holistic development and support of all employees in a professional and confidential manner, while providing support and assistance to alleviate the impact of everyday work, personal and family challenges. The Employee Wellness Program provides opportunities and incentives for employees to maintain a safe work environment and a healthy life style. The Programme attempts to address the elements that contribute to this goal including:

    A smoking cessation program
    Physical activity
    A healthy diet
    Stress management
    Health screenings
    Personal problems and,
    Enhancing productivity and social functioning.

The Employee Wellness Programme will offer confidential assistance to employees and their immediate families who are affected or who have the potential to be adversely affected in the performance of their functions

The Programme is also designed to provide employees and their immediate families with professional assistance in dealing with a broad range of human relations problems. This is done by identifying and resolving productivity problems associated with employees who are impaired by personal concerns, including but not limited to:

    Abusive relationships
    Childcare and eldercare issues
    Emotional or behavioural disorders
    Family and marital discord
    Family violence
    HIV and AIDS
    Legal problems
    Marital, family and relationship problems
    Personal debt and financial management problems
    Psychological problems
    Stress (family, social, job)
    Substance abuse (alcohol, drugs, prescription medication) and other addictive behaviour such as gambling
    Work-related problems such as job burnout, poor relationships and poor work performance

The Employee Wellness Programme is designed to:

    Assist managers and supervisors to deal appropriately with the difficulties/challenges that confront employees in the workplace
    Assist employees to seek professional help for the challenges that impact on their work and interpersonal relationships at work
    Provide appropriate mechanisms of intervention and confidential counseling for employees who seek to address challenges that they face in the workplace
    Promote co-operation, motivation and improve employee morale in order to improve productivity and workplace efficiency
    Reduce absenteeism, staff turnover, interpersonal conflicts, grievances and work related accidents
    Provide employees with life skills, awareness and educational programmes that promote healthy lifestyles and coping skills

 
PRINCIPLES OF THE EMPLOYEE WELLNESS PROGRAMME

 
Confidentiality

A primary principle of the Employee Wellness Programme is to maintain confidentiality throughout every level of the Programme. An employee accessing the Employee Wellness Programme needs confidence in the privacy of this relationship. The Employee Wellness Programme recognizes the employee’s right to privacy. Legally, "confidentiality" refers to the obligation to refrain from willingly disclosing information that has been received in confidence and not to situations in which a court or statute compels a person to disclose information.

Whereas a manager and/or supervisor has a right to know where his/her subordinate is, he or he/she does not have the right to know what the problem is, or which EAP support service the employee is attending and/or receiving.

 
Protection

Any employee who seeks assistance will not jeopardise his or her job security, compensation, promotional opportunities and/or reputation. No information obtained from, or about an employee as a result of his/her participation in the Employee Wellness Programme shall be made available to be used for any purpose. To this end the employee’s right to privacy and confidentiality shall be strictly protected.

All records and discussions regarding an employee’s work or personal problems will be handled in a confidential manner. General feedback reports are to be kept by the Employee Wellness Programme Manager. Breach of confidentiality is regarded in a serious light. Disciplinary action may be taken against an employee who breaches confidentiality.

An Employee Wellness Programme Manager/Coordinator may be required to divulge information under the following conditions, for example:

  •  Where public life and the safety of other employees and/or individuals are endangered (obligation to warn the intended victims);
  • Fraud and Child abuse

Written consent from the employee concerned is required in situations other than those mentioned above, where confidentiality needs to be breached. An Employee Wellness Programme Manager/Coordinator who is subpoenaed to surrender records, reports or to testify in a court is not in breach of his or her confidentiality obligations. Confidentiality should not be confused with anonymity.

All persons involved with the Employee Wellness Programme (e.g. Human Resources, Co-ordinator, Managers, Supervisors, employees) are bound by conditions of strict confidentiality.

 
Discipline

The Employee Wellness Programme is not a substitute for the discipline of employees. Rather, the Programme may be used before, or in conjunction with disciplinary actions where appropriate. The Employee Wellness Programme does not alter management's responsibility to maintain discipline or the right to take disciplinary measures as per the policies within the Department. The Employee Wellness Programme is not designed to assist in "conflict resolution" between employees, managers and/or supervisors. These matters should be resolved through established procedures.

The Employee Wellness Programme may however assist employees, managers and/or supervisors to deal with personal consequences of conflicts which may be work related.

 
Job Performance

If a supervisor and/or manager experiences problems with the job performance of an employee it should be addressed by intervening and addressing the reasons for non-performance. The Employee Wellness Programme may be used to support the employee and supervisor and/or manager in addressing reasons for non-performance. However, normal good management principles and disciplinary action (if necessary) should be applied if non-performance continues.

Leave and time off should be granted in accordance with the Company’s standard policies and procedures for professional assessment, counseling and treatment.

It is the responsibility of the employee to maintain satisfactory job performance. In the event that personal problems cause deterioration of work performance, the employee has a responsibility to obtain the necessary help to bring job performance up to an acceptable level. The Employee Wellness Programme offers a means to obtain this help.

 
EMPLOYEE WELLNESS PROGRAMME GUIDELINES

Employees or their immediate families are encouraged to approach the Employee Wellness Unit or Human Resources if they realise that they have personal problems that could be addressed through the assistance of the Employee Wellness Programme.

Managers, supervisors, co-workers and family members are urged to encourage others to use the Programme, but an individual’s participation is voluntary.

The Employee Wellness Programme is a company benefit. There is no charge to employees for making use of the Programme. Employees will be responsible for the long-term treatment such as rehabilitation. The Employee Wellness Programme will make every effort to assist those needing help.

If costs are to be incurred for rehabilitation, these costs will be the responsibility of the employee. The Employee Wellness Programme Coordinator will notify the employee or immediate family member in advance if it is anticipated that the referrals will incur additional costs.

Early identification of the following symptoms by the manager/supervisor/colleagues/family or friends can be of importance. Such symptoms might be:

  • Absenteeism: Mondays and Fridays, poor timekeeping, unplanned leave, long tea and lunch breaks
  • Frequent sick leave with no sick note
  • Irregular work performance, carelessness, forgetfulness
  • Emotional outbursts, aggression, over reaction to criticism
  • Social withdrawal
  • Missing deadlines and appointments
  • Frequent accident or injury reports
  • Rigid resistance to change
Located in: All Policies