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Employee Wellbeing Policy

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Section 1 - Summary

(1) This Policy affirms Victoria University's commitment to the wellbeing of all its employees, and the positive measures that the University will take to support employees in all aspects of their lives.

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(2) HESF: 2.3 Wellbeing and Safety

(3) Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 (Cth): Standard 8

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Section 3 - Scope

(4) This Policy applies to all employees of the University.

(5) This Policy does not apply to:

  1. non-employee workers (eg contractors, consultants and volunteers); and,
  2. students.
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Section 4 - Definitions

(6) Wellbeing

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Section 5 - Policy Statement

(7) Victoria University is committed to fostering employees' physical and psychological wellbeing, and providing a range of supports, programs, and resources for its employees to improve their wellbeing at work and in their lives overall.

(8) Employees are encouraged to participate in University and community activities to improve the wellbeing of themselves, their families and other members of the community.

(9) To support this commitment, the University will:

  1. promote and support a positive approach to psychological, physical, social, emotional, cultural, organisational and professional health and wellbeing;
  2. provide accessible information regarding access to support, reasonable adjustments, activities and programs to enhance positive health and wellbeing;
  3. maintain confidentiality in the management of any wellbeing-related employee matters.

Part A - Flexible Working Arrangements

(10) VU recognises the positive impact on wellbeing, and the organisational and personal benefits, of providing flexible work arrangements to employees wherever practicable.

(11) VU promotes flexible working arrangements. Options may include:

  1. Part time arrangements
  2. Flexible work hours
  3. Job share
  4. Working from home

Part B - Family and Carer Support

(12) VU supports employees to successfully balance their work and home lives. VU adopts proactive policies that do not discriminate against parents, carers for children, carers for elders, and those with other family or care responsibilities. In particular:

  1. VU recognises that pregnant employees may have needs that require temporary adjustments to environment and working conditions, and will accommodate this as far as possible.
  2. VU will, wherever possible, provide reasonable accommodation to allow employees to combine infant feeding and work.
  3. VU recognises that employees who are parents or carers of young children may need to bring their child/ren on campus on occasion. Employees may be able to do this in accordance with the requirements of the Pregnancy, Infant Feeding and Children on Campus Procedure and OHS considerations.
  4. VU recognises that employees may have care responsibilities for elders or other people with particular care needs in their lives, and will support employees to fulfill these obligations as far as practicable.

Part C - Domestic and Family Violence

(13) Domestic and family violence is likely to have a serious negative impact on the wellbeing of those who experience it.

(14) VU acknowledges that employees experiencing domestic and family violence and its aftermath may face substantial impact on their attendance at work or on their ability to perform work duties.

(15) VU  is committed to supporting employees experiencing domestic and family violence to deal with their situation as they are able, and continue to participate in work activities as far as possible. To this end, the University will make a range of reasonable adjustments to support employees facing these circumstances.

Part D - Disability Support

(16) VU recognises that individual wellbeing can be significantly impacted by social attitudes to disability and environments that are not accessible.

(17) VU is committed to providing an environment where staff of all abilities are valued, supported and encouraged, and are able to carry out their roles at the University to the fullest extent possible.

(18) The University does this through the principles in the Staff Disability and Accessibility Policy and the measures outlined in the Staff Disability and Accessibility Procedure.

Part E - Community Involvement

(19) Community involvement supports the wellbeing of employees, as well as the strength of the community as a whole.

(20) VU supports employees' involvement in community support and enhancement activities through a combination of paid and unpaid leave and other adjustments to working conditions. Community involvement includes but is not limited to:

  1. volunteer emergency management services;
  2. community service activities such as blood donation, defence reservist activities, and jury service;
  3. community volunteering;
  4. elite and competitive sports;
  5. Aboriginal cultural duties;
  6. other cultural or religious duties.

Part F - General Health and Wellbeing Initiatives

(21) VU may provide a range of general wellbeing programs and employee support, such as:

  1. confidential counselling through the Employee Assistance Program;
  2. smoking cessation programs;
  3. subsidised staff gym memberships at Footscray Fitness and Aquatic Centres, as well as centres at Werribee and St Albans;
  4. free influenza immunisation programs on campus;
  5. encouraging employees to be more physically active by making provisions in the workplace for activity opportunities (including reducing sitting time where relevant and practical);
  6. promoting healthy eating choices in the workplace;
  7. promoting employee psychosocial and emotional wellbeing through workplace practices and policies;
  8. increasing employee knowledge and awareness around key health topics, including the risks of substance abuse.

(22) To reduce the risk of smoking-related harm to all occupants of the University's campuses, all campuses are smoke and tobacco-free.

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Section 6 - Procedures

(23) Employee Wellbeing - Flexible Work Arrangements Procedure

(24) Employee Wellbeing - Pregnancy, Breast and Bottle Feeding and Children on Campus Procedure

(25) Employee Wellbeing - Working from Home Procedure

(26) Employee Wellbeing - Domestic or Family Violence Leave Procedure