Sustainable Agriculture Institute

Assistance Policy

 

Policy brief & purpose

SAI’s Employee Assistance  Policy (EAP) outlines our provisions for supporting our employees through hardships, worries and crises in their personal or work lives.

EAPs are confidential counseling programs that help employees and their families cope with stress, mental illness and other issues. They are part of our broader mental health policy.

We strive to ensure our employees are healthy both mentally and emotionally. Whether it’s a slight feeling of worry or a more serious problem, we want employees to feel free to reach out to our EAP.

Scope

This policy applies to all our employees. Employees’ children and spouses/domestic partners may also benefit from our program’s services.

Our HR manages our EAP and is responsible for updating managers and employees on relevant changes.

What is the scope of issues the EAP addresses?

Our EAP can help employees with various work-related and personal problems.

Examples are:

  • Personal worries, doubts or fears
  • Grief (death, mourning, separation)
  • Work-related stress/ problems with colleagues
  • Addiction (e.g. substance abuse, gambling, smoking)
  • Domestic violence
  • Health issues
  • Financial problems
  • Retirement

This list isn’t exhaustive. Our EAP supports anyone who experiences problems that affect their well-being and work performance.

Also, our EAP is open to those who need advice on how to assist someone else (colleague, friend or family member.)

To communicate our EAP and encourage employees to use it, we will include our program’s services in newsletters, bulletins and other mediums.

Policy elements

How employees can access our EAP

Employees can reach our EAP through:

  • In person at the HR department.
  • Email or call the HR department.

Although any communication from the employee is strictly confidential, we advise employees to be careful with what they disclose through email for fear of cyberattacks that may compromise their confidentiality.

What are the services of our EAP?

Our employee assistance program includes:

  • Counseling services
  • Consultation sessions
  • Crisis stress management
  • Mental illness assessments and referrals to experts close to employees’ homes
  • Referrals to experts for assistance in financial planning or legal counseling
  • Job orientation for employees’ children

Who is involved in our EAP?

Our EAP employs:

  • A HR employee who has received relevant training. This person coordinates our EAP and acts as a point of reference when needed.
  • Trained specialists who undertake counseling, consultations, confidential assessments and referrals.
  • An external network of professionals (e.g. psychiatrists, psychologists) to whom we can refer employees in need. These professionals’ fees may be covered by our insurance policy. Alternatively, we can offer consultations with psychologists, lawyers or other professionals with a discount of up to 25 percent
  • Contact the EAP official for more information.

Managers’ responsibilities

Managers should:

  • Be open to answer questions from employees and refer their team members to the EAP official when appropriate.
  • Be vigilant in spotting employees who may face issues and refer them to our EAP when appropriate.

Managers can reach out to our EAP official to seek advice on how to approach employees in need.

EAP review

We want to ensure that our EAP meets employee and company needs. For this reason, we will establish a annual review cycle for our EAP. This will include sending out an anonymous survey asking employees for feedback and ideas.