Employee support policy

Policy overview 

We provide an employee support and counselling service (ESCS) to support our employees' health and wellbeing. The service is a confidential counselling programme that helps employees with: 

  • stress 
  • mental health issues  
  • other matters 

We strive to ensure employees are healthy mentally, emotionally and physically.

The ESCS is here to provide help for a slight feeling of worry or a more severe problem. We want employees to feel free to reach out to the service. 

The service helps employees with problems that have the potential to affect: 

  • work performance  
  • jeopardise the health and wellbeing of the individual 
  • fellow workers 
  • customers and client 
  • members of the public 

The service provides employees with confidential face-to-face assistance. It helps employees to work through a range of work-related and personal issues. 

Principles 

ESCS can help employees who experience problems that affect their wellbeing and work performance. Examples include: 

  • personal worries, doubts or fears 
  • grief (for example, death, mourning, separation) 
  • work-related stress or problems with colleagues  
  • addiction (for example, substance abuse, gambling, smoking) 
  • domestic violence 
  • caring responsibilities 
  • health issues 
  • financial problems 
  • retirement 

The service supports anyone who experiences problems that affect their wellbeing and work performance. 

Eligibility 

All employees are entitled to support and counselling services. Relevant schools can use the service if they have selected it from us. Access to the service is confidential and voluntary. 

 It is without prejudice to employees' job security or personal development. Although participation in the service will not prevent: 

  • capability 
  • disciplinary  
  • other performance management procedures  

Contact 

Employees can make the first contact by telephone or email. After an initial conversation, the counsellor may offer an appointment. This will be at the counselling suite in Lincoln.  

The counsellors are members of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. The counsellors abide by their code of ethics and practice.  

A counsellor will advise on the number and frequency of sessions. The number of sessions is limited and will be discussed with the individual.  

We need at least 48 hours’ notice to cancel an appointment. Employees may contact them via email or telephone to avoid losing one of the sessions.  

Referral to the service is voluntary but may be encouraged by: 

  • colleagues 
  • managers  
  • friends and family  

Managers may suggest to employees that they participate in the service. However, an employee's participation remains voluntary. 

Management information 

The ESCS will give regular usage and activity reports to HR. The HR department uses this information to evaluate the programme. They use this to highlight areas of the business where usage suggests particular 'hotspots'. The data is used to inform health and well-being initiatives. 

Data protection 

The service provider will ensure the safe and secure processing of employees' data. Contact between employees and the service is confidential. The provider abides by a code of conduct to maintain the security of counselling records.  

A counsellor may have to consult with an outside agency if they have:  

  • concerns that somebody is at risk of harming either themselves or a third party 
  • concerns about a child  

The counsellor would usually talk with the employee about this first. 

The practitioner or counsellor will tell employees of their confidentiality policy. They must do this during the initial contact. We do not place the information gained by the service on the employee's personnel file. All counselling sessions are held away from the workplace. 

Publicity 

Employees will receive regular communications from us about how to access ESCS services. We also provide information: 

  • at inductions 
  • during periods of organisation change 
  • at any critical event involving employees 

We provide managers with information about the service. Managers should encourage workers with problems affecting work to contact the service. 

Relationship with other policies 

Read this policy along with other policies and procedures which cover: 

  • attendance  
  • health 
  • working flexibly 
  • leave and time off 
  • sickness absence 
  • harassment and bullying 
  • domestic abuse 
  • diversity and inclusion 
  • health and wellbeing strategy