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Staff Assistance Services Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Objectives

(1) 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.

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Section 2 - Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Term Definition
Enterprise Agreement The University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2021-2026 (or as amended or replaced)
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Section 3 - Policy Scope/Coverage

(2) This Policy applies to all University staff.

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Section 4 - Policy Statement

(3) 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 Staff Assistance Services Procedure.

(4) 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.

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Section 5 - Staff Assistance Services Principles

Duty of Care

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

Satisfactory Work Performance

(6) 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.


(7) 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.

(8) 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.

(9) 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.

(10) 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.

No Adverse Consequences

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

Voluntary Participation

(12) 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.


(13) 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.

(14) 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.

Leave Provisions

(15) 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.