Scope

This policy sets out the University’s commitment and arrangements for securing the health and wellbeing of staff and students to the extent that these factors might be impacted by work or study for or at the University.

This policy complements and supports the implementation of other University policies and procedures including but not limited to: Dignity and Respect; Recruitment and Selection; Sickness Absence; Statement of Equality Objectives; Dealing with Alcohol and Drug Abuse; Flexible Working; Health and Safety Policy and other subordinate health and safety policies.

Legislation

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

Equality Act 2010

Definitions

Health is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as ‘...a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’.

Wellbeing: “...a state of being with others, where human needs are met, where one can act meaningfully to pursue one’s goals, and where one enjoys a satisfactory quality of life” (Economic and Social Research Council).

Occupational Health: The WHO and International Labour Organisation have jointly defined Occupational Health as being “the promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being of workers in all occupations by preventing departures from health, controlling risks and the adaptation of work to people, and people to their jobs”.

Policy Statement

The University recognises the protection of health and the promotion of wellbeing as important factors in sustaining attendance at work and supporting job satisfaction and success in study. The University is committed to providing a working and living environment for its staff and students which minimises risk to health and promotes positive wellbeing. The University aims to deliver this commitment by:

  • Providing an environment in which staff and students who have health problems that may affect their work or study receive suitable support, and that reasonable steps are taken to make adjustments to their work or study circumstances to enable them to achieve their full potential.

  • Promoting the health and wellbeing of staff and students through its management policies, support services, information networks, and by means of health promotion campaigns. Providing access to specialist health and mental health support for staff and students.

  • Encouraging staff and students to declare any relevant health or wellbeing matters to enable the University to identify and implement appropriate measures to actively support them. The University will respect the confidentiality of staff and students making such declarations and will ensure that information is only shared where it is appropriate to do so (i.e. to support the individual or to prevent harm to the individual or to others).

Responsibilities

The Vice-Chancellor (VC)

Has the overall day to day responsibility for health and safety matters at the University. The VC delegates responsibility for undertaking aspects of these duties through line management and identified roles. The following people are identified as having responsibilities (in addition to any other responsibilities under other health and safety policy) for the management of health and wellbeing risks in those areas, and for those relevant persons, that fall under their control:

Senior Managers including Deans of Faculties/Schools are responsible for:

  • Implementing and promoting the principles and behaviours embedded in University policies and procedures that contribute to positive staff and student wellbeing.

  • Implementing any line management responsibilities for those teams and areas that they directly line manage.

Heads of Department and Directors of Professional Services are responsible for:

  • Ensuring that significant risks to health and wellbeing are assessed and that identified control measures, including control measures relating to emergency situations, are implemented so that risks are reduced to a tolerable level.

  • Developing and implementing action plans where existing control measures do not adequately address significant risks to health and / or wellbeing. These action plans must be brought to the attention of anyone who needs to see them, including employees and those expected to implement changes or undertake action.

  • Allocating sufficient resources to enable line managers to fulfil their responsibilities under this policy. Ensuring that any confidential health information disclosed by staff and/or students is maintained as confidential and is only shared where there is a need to do so in order to support the individual or to protect their health, safety and wellbeing or that of anyone else who might be affected.

Line Managers are responsible for:

  • Ensuring that risk assessments include appropriate consideration of potential significant risks to health and wellbeing. Risk assessments will include consideration of any support that employees might require in emergency situations (for example, a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan)

  • Ensuring that risk assessments identify appropriate control measures to reduce risks to health and wellbeing as far as reasonably practicable.

  • Monitoring direct reports’ working time and encouraging them to take the rest breaks and leave that they are entitled to in the course of their employment.

  • Monitoring workload to ensure allocated tasks are capable of being completed within the time and resources allocated and are within the competency of the relevant employee.

  • Consulting appropriately with the members of their team over aspects of their employment, role and anything else which may significantly impact upon their health, especially any planned changes.

  • Consulting with the Department of Human Resources in respect of any member of their team whom they believe would benefit from support from Occupational Health and/or the staff counselling scheme.

  • Ensuring that those employees subject to health surveillance or further occupational health investigation are provided with sufficient time to attend appointments.

Employees

Have general duties under the University’s health and safety policy to cooperate with the employer on matters of health and safety, for example by participating in statutory health surveillance programmes, and to protect their own health and safety and that of any other person who may be affected by their acts or omissions. Whilst this policy does not impose any additional duties on employees, they are strongly encouraged to:

  • Disclose any relevant health and wellbeing information to line management to enable the University to identify and implement any support measures to sustain attendance and support health and wellbeing.

  • Attend Occupational Health where this is recommended and consent to relevant information being disclosed to line management.

  • Make use of the University’s Employee Assistance Programme and any other support (for example coaching, training and mentoring) where this is recommended.

Students

Are strongly encouraged to inform Student Services as soon as is practicable if they have a health or wellbeing concern that affects, or is likely to affect their ability to carry out their studies, so that reasonable steps can be taken to identify and implement suitable support.

Students are strongly encouraged to report to Student Support Services, any person about whom they have concerns with respect to their health or wellbeing.

Director of HR is responsible for allocating resources to:

  • Enable prospective employees to confidentially disclose health issues prior to taking up employment to enable reasonable adjustments to be identified and implemented prior to employment commencing. Support line managers to manage health and wellbeing issues within their teams.

  • Promote employee health and wellbeing.

  • Ensure competent advice is available for health and wellbeing matters. This will include access to Occupational Health and an appropriate Employee Assistance Programme (i.e. counselling service).

  • Consult with relevant trade union safety representatives and other stakeholders, where appropriate, on proposed action relating to staff wellbeing and the prevention of workplace ill-health.

Head of Student Services is responsible for allocating resources to:

Provide a range of mental health and wellbeing services to support students.

University Health and Safety Committee is responsible for:

  • Monitoring the implementation of this policy.

  • Monitoring factors that might indicate patterns of health-related issues, e.g. in particular areas or staff groups.