When an employee suffers psychological illness, it may have a significant impact on their ability to perform at work and can place communications with peers and supervisors under strain. The supervisor may be uncertain about the best way of offering support and the worker may be worried that they will be unable to continue to perform their usual work or to perform work to their usual standard.
Whether the onset of illness is work-related or a consequence of matters unrelated to work, the supervisor is faced with the challenge of determining how to accommodate the employee in a reasonable fashion. Often the supervisor has difficulty gaining access to factual information which might otherwise assist the process.
The aim of the Psychological Risk Assessment is to clarify how the employee’s illness is impacting on their work and to facilitate a collaborative approach to Return to Work (RTW) planning, which includes the employee, their doctor and supervisor or manager. Factual information about the employee’s condition is provided and strategies for addressing problems associated with the condition are developed. A plan for managing the workplace risks associated with the employee’s psychological illness is then developed and implemented.
In order for a Psychological Risk Assessment to operate effectively:
Every individual and workplace is unique. The process outlined below is a flexible and may be modified according to the needs of the specific organisation or employee. The IOH psychologist will discuss the best approach for the specific circumstances with the referring party, prior to proceeding with the service.
The “Management Plan” will outline the main features of the employee’s condition and any associated risk factors which need to be managed in order to support the employee’s return to their work role. With the express permission of the worker, the plan will be discussed with an on-site manager and with their treating doctors. The plan will outline specific behaviours of concern and will document agreements as to how these will be handled, including the different responsibilities of both the employee and the manager.
Where considered appropriate, an agreement may also be made for the on-site manager to contact a nominated family member, should a worker be unwell at work and require immediate assistance.
What one of IOH’s recent clients says about the Psychological Risk Management Service:
“The process we followed highlighted a few areas that needed attention that could only be identified with professional help which your organisation provided. Looking at our employee today you would see a different person to the one who was fighting to keep his employment last year THANKYOU.”
We are happy to discuss how this service can improve mutual understanding of the employee’s psychological illness and result in improved outcomes in the workplace
For further information about the service please contact IOH Psychology Services Manager on 02 4210 7222.