Resources available to Staff

There are numerous resources available to support staff involved in events in the workplace, including serious incidents, adverse events and complaints. It is important that staff are informed of the support networks and people who can assist them in responding to complaints. These include but are not limited to:

  • Workplace Health & Wellbeing Unit
  • The HSE Employee Assistance Programme
  • Occupational Health Department
  • National Health & Safety Function
  • Human Resources Helpdesk
  • Corporate Employee Relations Services (CERS) and Employee Relations Advisory & Assurance Services Function

Workplace Health and Wellbeing Unit

The Workplace Health and Wellbeing Unit aims to improve the general health and wellbeing of staff in the Health Services and support more people with health conditions to stay in work or enter employment.  It works to create healthier workplaces, improve occupational health services and rehabilitation support, and increase employment opportunities for people who are not in work due to ill health or disability.  It aims to implement all elements of a positive workplace, including appropriate supports for both staff and management in relation to stressors in the workplace. 

Employee Assistance Programme

The Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) provides confidential counselling support and a referral service for all staff with personal or work-related difficulties.  Advice and guidance is also available to Managers to support them in managing staff welfare issues.  The employee assistance service also provides formal structured support to groups of staff who have experienced stress as a result of a critical incident in the workplace. 

A wide range of issues is managed by the EAP, including:

  • Stress at work
  • Difficult relationships at work (including bullying)
  • Traumatic events (e.g. assault, suicide)
  • Addictions
  • Personal issues outside of work (e.g. bereavement, relationships) which is provided on a confidential basis
  • Professional assessment
  • Personal support
  • Counselling
  • Referral onwards to other professional resources where appropriate.
  • Trauma Support

Additionally, the service:

  • Participates in the provision of lectures / training as required, in areas where the employee assistance professional has relevant expertise, e.g. stress management, post-trauma support, team building and management training
  • Provides feedback to the organisation on broad issues which may enhance employee wellbeing and the organisation’s effectiveness

The service, which is free of charge to all HSE Employees, is provided by trained and experienced counsellors who are professionally qualified and bound by the codes of conduct to the professional bodies to which they belong.  There are three pathways by which an employee may access the employee assistance service:

  • An employee may self-refer
  • An employee may be referred by Occupational Health
  • An employee may be referred by line management

Matters raised in individual cases are confidential and are not discussed with managers. 

Your line manager will advise you of the contact details for your local service.

For further information please visit the Employee Assistance and Counselling Service

Occupational Health Department

The Occupational Health Department aims to promote and maintain the physical, mental and social well-being of employees.  The department looks at how work and work surroundings may affect people’s health and also how their health may affect their ability to cope with their work. 

Functions and Services available to staff include:

  • provision of medical advice on issues where work is affecting health and/or health is affecting work
  • promoting compliance with health and safety legislation
  • providing independent, impartial medical advice taking into consideration employees’ health problems that will assist both the employer and employees in securing treatment or rehabilitation as appropriate
  • advising on fitness for work at an early stage
  • providing health surveillance to employees considered to be at risk in the workplace
  • monitoring the health of employees after an accident or illness as appropriate
  • providing occupational health advice in the management of attendance
  • providing information to employees regarding support services available. e.g. counselling support
  • promoting employee health and wellbeing
  • promoting the development of an integrated occupational safety, health and welfare system
  • supporting the development of evidenced-based policies, procedures and guidelines related to occupational health

National Health and Safety Function

The National Health and Safety Function has been established to provide effective, consistent, high-quality and readily accessible support on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) matters.

Supports available through the function include:

  • Advice, support and guidance on all OSH matters including:
    • legislation, safety management, safe systems of work, best practice and technical standards
    • the development, communication and revision of Site/Service specific Safety Statements and the associated hazard identification and risk assessment process
    • OSH Policies, Procedures, Protocols and Guidelines
    • OSH Incident management and statutory reporting
  • Developing, co-ordinating and delivering relevant statutory OSH training programmes
  • Auditing, evaluating and reporting on compliance with the HSE Safety Management Programme
  • Promoting consultation and communication on OSH matters
  • Developing and maintaining relations with appropriate external organisations such as the Health and Safety Authority, Health Information and Quality Authority, State Claims Agency
  • Promoting audit-based benchmarked standards and KPIs for OSH

Human Resources Help Desk

The focus of the Human Resources (HR) Help Desk is on providing individual employee support in conjunction with the local HR Offices and CERS/ERAS. It will be an additional tool to keep employees informed, involved and included. In an evolving HR function, the initial focus will be to develop a Help Desk that will serve as an additional HR point of contact for any employee regarding benefits, terms and conditions of employment and advice on the operation of the grievance and disciplinary processes.

Employee enquiries are responded to by email or phone, accessing a variety of tools and knowledge bases. Employees are supported to understand HR processes and in doing so build relationships throughout the HSE’s growing HR organisation. 

For further information please telephone 1800 444 925 each day from 8am to 5pm or by email:

Corporate Employee Relations Services (CERS) and Employee Relations Advisory Assurance Services

Corporate Employee Relations Services represents the integration of the HSE-Employers Agency and the existing HSE Employee Relations division. The service aims to develop an effective and responsive employee relations structure to support the various levels within the HSE and HSE funded agencies.

The Advisory Division provides employee relations and employment law advice to health service managers and employers, interpreting law so that it is applied in the most appropriate way and advising managers where issues arise. The Division also provides proactive advice to Departments of Public Expenditure and Reform and Health on the potential impact that government policy and strategy will have on employment within the health sector. It is also responsible for drafting policies and standards to ensure that the health sector employs people safely throughout their working life.

Management Support

There is a designated Assistant National Director of Human Resources to support each Hospital Group, Community Healthcare Organisation, Health Business Services and Corporate Services.