Your Health, Safety and Wellbeing at Work
Supporting colleagues to look after their health, safety and wellbeing has been an important aspect of our occupational health strategy for some time. Our efforts in this area have been recognised as an example of good practice by the Healthy Working Lives Silver Award. We offer a range of policies to help you look after yourself, including a constructive sickness absence management framework, work-life balance policies, health promotion activities, onsite gym facility, Healthy Living Scheme, an occupational health service, counselling service, employee assistance programmes and mindfulness training. In return, we expect colleagues to take responsibility for supporting their own health, safety and wellbeing and seek support from their manager where appropriate.
Period and Menopause Policy
We’re committed to providing an inclusive working environment for all staff throughout all stages of their working lives. For that reason we have a Period and Menopause Policy and supporting guidance. The policy and guidance are in place to help us create a positive culture where staff experiencing problematic periods or menopausal symptoms get the support they need to manage their symptoms at work. We expect all staff to be familiar with the policy. This will help address the lack of awareness and knowledge about the menstrual cycle and menopause and reduce the stigma around them too. It will also aid effective conversations around possible practical adjustments.
The symptoms of periods and the menopause affect many members of staff. 55% of the workforce are women and the average age of women working in the organisation is 44. Symptoms can have a negative impact on someone’s personal and working life. Not everyone will suffer with symptoms. Supporting those who do will improve their experience at work. There is often an impact on partners, families and colleagues too.
Positive About Mental Health
We’re positive about mental health, so you can talk about your mental health openly with your manager, in confidence, and without fear of being judged. Happiness, productivity and effectiveness at work are all intrinsically linked to wellbeing so mental health is important to everyone; not just people who experience mental health problems. We recognise that mental health is just like physical health. It can be positive, or you might experience times that you don’t feel so good. This can lead to problems that might last over a few weeks or months or ones that need managing over a lifetime.
We recognise that our structures, policies and processes all contribute to a culture of wellbeing. That is why we see wellbeing as a priority and an integral part of our culture and values. We strive towards continual improvement of our health and safety management systems, where risks are minimised, including work-related stress, with good, clear two-way communication. This means that we all need to work together to make doing things safely part of our day-to-day work. Have a look at our Positive about Mental Health and Wellbeing policy which sets our roles and responsibilities and our Wellbeing intranet page for more information.
We also have a staff-led network (intranet link) and a senior champion on our Leadership Group to ensure that wellbeing is a central focus of our work. Have a look at their page for information about how the network fits in and how they help us to improve the way we work.
Remember, if you feel like you can’t talk to your manager for whatever reason, we have an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). You can talk to EAP about anything that’s troubling you. EAP can provide comprehensive information or arrange for you to receive face-to-face support.
Employee Assistance Programme
We’re committed to supporting you at all times. Your manager, colleagues, friends and family can often give you the help and support you need but if you’re going through a hard time, we recognise that sometimes talking to someone impartial, independent and professional can help. That’s why we provide a free and confidential employee assistance programme where you can you get advice on a wide range of issues. You can talk about anything that might be troubling you and be sure that you’ll be respected and listened to. The service is available 24/7 and further information can found on the employee assistance programme pages.
Health and Safety
We strive towards continual improvement of our health and safety management systems, defining roles and responsibilities, where risks are minimised with good, clear, two-way communication. This means that we all need to work together to make doing things safely part of our day-to-day work. You can do your bit by looking after your own health and safety and that of others who could be harmed by your work activities. Tell your manager if you have concerns, and get advice if you’re not sure how to do this safely. Remember to complete your training on Learning Pool and report accidents, work-related ill-health and hazards, or any health and safety concerns you have. This will help us to improve and may prevent a work colleague from being harmed. Full information about our Health and Safety Policy and Fire Safety policy and procedures is available.
We have a network of First Aiders, including Mental Health First Aiders, to make sure there is always help and support available if you, or a colleague, require it. Our First Aiders and Mental Health First Aiders are fully trained, certified and supported in their roles. They receive an annual recognition allowance for their role for as long as they remain certified and active on our register of First Aiders.
Alcohol, Drugs and Substance Misuse
It’s not our policy to intrude upon the privacy of colleagues, particularly in health matters, where their condition does not affect their conduct or performance at work. However, we recognise that the misuse of alcohol, drugs or substances may be a cause of impairment to a colleague’s health, behaviour, conduct, safety or work performance. We’ll offer support to colleagues who recognise they have an alcohol, drug or substance problem. So, if you’re having a problem you should speak to your manager who will try and do what they can to support you to overcome these. Anything you tell your manager will be kept confidential and won’t be shared with anyone without your permission. If you need additional support, or you feel like you can’t talk to your manager, remember that we have an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). Just so it’s clear, if your performance, attendance or behaviour is unacceptable despite being offered support and assistance, your continued employment may be at risk. Have a look at the Substance Abuse Policy for information.
Smoke Free Environment
We want to protect the wellbeing of everyone in our workplace by not exposing them to second-hand cigarette smoke or any potential health risk from colleagues using e-cigarettes. We’re also committed to fulfilling our legal obligation to provide a smoke-free working environment. If you wish to smoke or use an e-cigarette you may do so in the designated area of the courtyard outside Queensberry House. If you’re not sure where this is, ask your manager. Of course, it you want to smoke or use an e-cigarette you’ll need to use your breaks. Smoking, including the use of e-cigarettes, is banned in all other areas. Just so it’s clear, any breach of this policy may lead to disciplinary action. Have a look at the smoke-free policy for information.