1. The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GoRTT) recognizes that there are times when personal problems may affect an employee’s well-being and job performance. For this reason, the decision has been taken to implement an Employee Assistance Programme in the Public Service of Trinidad and Tobago.
2. The Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) Policy for the Public Service of Trinidad and Tobago is intended to provide a clear guide to the establishment and management of the EAP in Ministries/Departments, the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), Municipal Corporations and those Statutory Authorities subject to the Statutory Authorities’ Act, Chapter 24:01 (hereinafter referred to as ‘agencies’).
STATEMENT OF PHILOSOPHY
3. The GoRTT is committed to promoting the health, safety and welfare of all individuals employed in agencies. The GoRTT recognizes that several factors (including the work environment - human, organisational and technical) can impact negatively on employee as well as system performance.
4. In this regard, the GoRTT views the establishment of the EAP as a critical human resource intervention strategy geared to improving productivity and employee well-being within the Public Service. The EAP shall therefore be a fundamental element of the human resource management (HRM) system of the Public Service of Trinidad and Tobago.
5. The GoRTT respects the sanctity of the employee’s private life and constitutional rights. This EAP policy is therefore primarily meant to address those circumstances where an employee’s personal problem(s) adversely affect or may affect his ability to perform assigned duties satisfactorily and safely.
6. The GoRTT recognizes alcohol and drug abuse/dependence, workplace interpersonal relations, marital or family difficulties, mental disorders or other psychosocial disorders, as conditions for which there are effective treatment and rehabilitation in the majority of cases. The EAP is designed solely to provide a means of restoring employee well-being and satisfactory job performance as well as protecting the safety and security of fellow employees and the public.
7. The GoRTT further recognizes that early identification and problem resolution is the most effective method of maintaining employee well-being and preventing or correcting unsatisfactory job performance. Therefore, an employee who utilizes the EAP is assured that his present job security and/or promotional opportunities shall not be jeopardized as a result of having done so.
8. Notwithstanding the assurance given above, nothing in this policy is to be interpreted as constituting a waiver of the employer’s responsibility to take disciplinary action in the case of misconduct or unsatisfactory job performance or as in certain agencies under the Ministry of National Security - to implement drug testing and specific penalties for test failure.