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Employee health, safety, and wellbeing

The Queensland Government is committed to creating workplaces where employees can thrive and achieve their best. See the Be healthy, be safe, be well (PDF, 5.3 MB) framework.

An important part of this is for all of us to work together and care for each other’s health, safety and wellbeing. See:

If you or someone you know is in immediate need of support, visit the Lifeline website. Talk to someone online, via text or over the phone.

Be aware of your stress levels and look for warning signs that you may need help and support (this can be changes in thoughts, mood, behaviour or performance). For help, visit the Queensland Government’s When to seek help page.

Counselling and support services

If you’re struggling with work or personal matters, speak to your supervisor. Ask for help. You and your family members can access free and confidential counselling services through your agency’s employee assistance program. See your intranet or speak to you supervisor or HR team if you’re not sure how to access this service.

For additional counselling and support, visit Beyond Blue’s New Access mental health coaching program. It’s free and confidential mental health coaching for anyone feeling stressed or overwhelmed about everyday life issues, such as work, study, relationships, health or loneliness.

Self-care strategies and support

Create a self-care plan. Use our self-assessment activity (PDF, 187 KB) to identify areas of focus to improve your overall mental wellbeing

Visit Heads up’s Taking care of yourself and staying well page. See the Taking care of your mental health guide for employees (under Resources) for tips on working in a mentally healthy way.

Take care of your mental health by getting up from your desk to stretch your legs and walk about regularly. Take a lunchtime walk or exercise class. Do not skip lunch and do not compromise your sleep.

Set a daily routine to provide structure in your life (e.g. the time you get up, arrive at work, take lunch and finish work). This can give you a sense of control and help you to avoid unnecessary stress.

Practice relaxation techniques (e.g. deep breathing) to help you calm down and take a step back from a stressful situation. Consider yoga or tai chi to improve your breathing and relaxation.

Make sure you disconnect from work and try not to take work home with you.

Working remotely

With no commute to worry about, it can be easy to fall into the trap of working longer hours or to stretch tasks out due to distractions. Create boundaries between work and home life:

  • Set start and end times for your day and keep to them.
  • Set a daily routine to give you a sense of control and purpose.
  • Get outside at least once a day for exercise.
  • Take regular breaks even if it is 10 minutes having a drink in the kitchen.
  • Switch off in the evening by not checking emails or messages.

At times, working remotely can create additional pressures either through increased workloads or a feeling like your work is less meaningful. Stay connected and talk to your manager about your work and workload, so you strike the right balance for your motivation and engagement.

Visit Working healthily and safely from home for more. Use the Healthy habits at home checklist on this page to assess and improve your working from home health habits.

Flexible work arrangements

Request flexible work arrangements to help with your mental health. For example, you might arrange to start and finish late so you can accommodate some exercise or attend a relaxation class. See Flexible work for more.

Career progression

Look for challenges and opportunities to progress your career. Job satisfaction can contribute significantly to your mental wellbeing. Visit Career development activities for more.

Leave

Take mini-breaks and holidays to refresh and rejuvenate. This can reduce work-related stress, prevent anxiety and depression, and increase work performance and productivity.

If you’re worried about a colleague or an employee because of changes in their behaviour, there is a chance they need support. Before you start a conversation, learn how to ask R U OK? Choose the right time and find a quiet place that will make them feel safe.

Remember, you don’t need to have all the answers when you meet with them. Just be supportive and listen to what they say without judgement. Point out things that have made you worried (e.g. suddenly eating alone or feeling very anxious in meetings). Maintain eye contact, stay calm and be conscious of your body language. If they feel comfortable around you, they are more likely to open up about how they’re feeling.

If they get upset, don’t take it personally. Explain that you’re just concerned and that you want to help. You will not be able to solve all of their problems, but you can help them find appropriate support.

Ask if they need help finding mental health resources and support services. Visit the Queensland Government’s Mental health and wellbeing page. Organise a time to meet with them again to discuss what you have found.

If they have been unwell for more than a couple of weeks, encourage them to talk to a doctor, a healthcare professional or your agency’s employee assistance program.

Follow up on your conversation and check in with them. Remember to choose the right time and the right place. Ask them how they’re feeling and if they can manage things better than before. Let them know you are still there for them, and you are ready to help.

Suicide prevention

If your colleague or employee talks about harming themselves or suicide, it’s important that you take them seriously.

Let them know that help is available, including Queensland’s confidential mental health telephone triage service, 1300 MH CALL (1300 642 255).

If you or someone you know is in immediate physical danger, call triple zero (000). Ask for police, fire or ambulance.

Visit the Queensland Government’s Healthier. Happier. website. Use the health and fitness age calculator to see what kind of shape you’re in. Access a range of fitness articles, guides, tips and workouts to improve your health and fitness.

Learn more about nutrition, diet and weight management, body image, and vitamin and mineral supplements. Visit Diet and nutrition.

Consider working with a My health for life health coach to achieve your health goals. Complete a quick assessment to see if you’re eligible.

Self-care strategies and support

Get up from your desk to stretch your legs and walk about regularly. Take a lunchtime walk or exercise class.

Participate in the 10,000 Step Challenge to get yourself moving more every day.

Consider cycling or recreation and outdoor activities.

Join a sporting or recreation club or a gym. Check your intranet for corporate gym memberships.

Check if your office has end-of-trip facilities. If they do, consider cycling, jogging or walking to work.

Health screenings and preventative initiatives

Check your intranet for agency-funded health assessments and check-ups, including ergonomic assessments and annual flu vaccinations.

Consider getting your sight, hearing, diabetes, blood pressure, bone density, cancer risk and sexual health checked. Visit Screening and health checks.

Visit Alcohol, smoking and drugs. Find out how to drink safely, quit smoking or get support and treatment for drug use.

Working remotely

Visit WorkSafe’s Working from home on your computer page. Find out how to set up your workspace and manage the risks and responsibilities that come with working from home.

Make sure you take regular breaks, even if it’s 10 minutes having a drink in the kitchen, and take a break outside (and don’t forget sun protection) at least once a day for exercise.

Flexible work arrangements

Request a flexible work arrangement to support you to pursue your physical health goals. For example, you might arrange to start and finish late so you can accommodate some exercise or attend a relaxation class. See Flexible work for more.

Working with an ongoing medical condition

You do not have to disclose any ongoing medical conditions (mental or physical illness or disability) to your employer. However, should it impact your ability to perform your role, you may choose to disclose it and ask for support and reasonable adjustments to minimise the impact of your illness or disability and allow you to fully participate.

Reasonable adjustments are personalised and should be tailored to your requirements and circumstances. Your manager may also raise their concerns with you if they notice that something is impacting your ability to work.

Work-related injury or illness

Contact WorkCover Queensland if you’ve experienced a work-related injury or illness. Find out if you can make a claim for worker’s compensation.

Non-work-related injury or illness

For serious injuries and illness that are non-work-related, you may be eligible to claim income protection.  If you’re covered by QSuper they can provide you with the information you need. Otherwise speak to your income protection provider.