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Wellbeing at work

22 November 2023

UC strives to provide a supportive working environment that maintains and promotes the health of our staff. We offer many opportunities and programmes to develop and maintain a healthy balanced life and a healthy workplace. Learn more about our wellbeing at work.


Wellbeing is the state of complete physical, emotional, mental, and social health, not just the absence of disease or injury.  

Student Support Services provide information for students relating to Health and Wellbeing

Staff members at the University of Canterbury are responsible for taking reasonable care of their health and wellbeing at work.

The University of Canterbury supports the wellbeing of all staff as set out in the Wellbeing Implementation Plan 2020 – 2024.

Staff Benefits

The University offers more than just a job and provides a range of benefits to staff. These are further detailed on the People & Culture intranet site (staff only)


Support and Intervention

The University of Canterbury is accountable for providing and maintaining a safe working environment for all workers, including identifying workplace stress and fatigue sources, and taking appropriate action to manage (reduce) the risk of harm occurring.

Managers/Heads are responsible for managing work demands and stressors on staff. The People & Culture Business Partners assist and support Managers/Heads and staff experiencing work-related stress or fatigue.

Staff who need support in managing work-related or non-work-related stress are encouraged to talk to their Manager/Head, People & Culture Business Partner, doctor or use the Employee assistance programme.

Find out more about the Prevention of Stress and Workplace Fatigue

The University offers an Employee assistance programme, which offers all kaimahi (staff members ) free access to short-term intervention counselling for various personal and work-related issues.

Read the Working here - ​​​​​​​People, Culture and Development Services intranet for further information.

The University of Canterbury is committed to ensuring that staff suffering from injury or illness make an early, safe, and sustainable return to work where possible.

The Protocol: Rehabilitation sets out the commitment, processes, and responsibilities.

Successful rehabilitation may rely on a formal rehabilitation plan involving the staff member, manager, and People & Culture Business Partner.

Rehabilitation planning relies on the timely exchange of information with health professionals. Information about employee duties can be recorded on the Job Information for Rehabilitation Consultation form. This includes a consent for the collection and release of information.

Any staff or manager requiring a rehabilitation plan should contact their HR Business Partner.

Occupational Health

Pain or discomfort is preventable by ensuring a good workplace set-up. If you want to prevent discomfort or are experiencing mild discomfort, it can be useful to do a self-assessment. Self-assessments are an effective strategy for preventing discomfort, pain, and injury.

Check out the SafetyHub ergonomics videos here to see if your workstation may be causing you pain or discomfort. 

Significant discomfort or pain related to workplace activity or work-station setup should be recorded immediately as an Incident in Assura. The report will be triaged by your line manager, who may then request a workstation assessment.

The university uses trained assessors from the UC Rec Centre to complete these assessments. The assessor will provide advice and make recommendations to you and your line manager. Your line manager can approve replacement desks, chairs, or footrests. The Logistics Team supply workstation furniture. Any other equipment, such as a replacement mouse, keyboard, headset, computer monitors, monitor stands, document holder, etc., must be ordered by your department.

Find out more about the Ergonomic Assessments Protocol

Residual health risks associated with an occupation require the University to implement a health monitoring programme. The risk of exposure to occupational health hazards determines the requirement for health monitoring.

Pre-employment (Baseline) Health Testing

Residual health risks should have been identified by a preferred candidate’s line manager and People & Culture Business Partner before an offer of employment is made. Prospective employees working in an occupation with residual risk of exposure must undergo pre-employment (baseline) health testing to ensure the prospective staff member is fit and healthy. Depending on the exposure and residual risk, health monitoring can include any of the following: lung function, chest x-rays, hearing, skin, and eye testing. The line manager and People & Culture Business Partner coordinate pre-employment health testing.

Health Monitoring

In some work groups, existing staff will be monitored because of a history of potential past exposures. New staff to those work groups may not require testing because the ongoing risk of exposure has been eliminated. So, just because one staff member in a group undergoes monitoring does not mean that all staff in that group require monitoring.

The Faculty or Department management and the Health and Safety Team decide which occupational groups or individuals require ongoing monitoring. 

The Health and Safety team coordinates health monitoring. Any queries regarding health monitoring should be directed to the Health and Safety Team.

Exposure Monitoring

As the nature of workplaces change, the related hazards in the work environment may also change. To see if the work environment is hazardous to workers, an assesment is carried out by an Occupational Health Professional/Hygeniest to identify whether the substances hazardous to health are in excess of the relevant prescribed exposure standard. 

If the concentration of substances hazardous to health is not certain on reasonable grounds the University must ensure that exposure monitoring is carried out in accordance with regulation 32 to determine the concentration.

The Faculty or Department management is responsible for exposure monitoring when the concentrations of a substance/hazard is not known. The Health and Safety team can support them in this.


Find out more in the Health Monitoring Protocol

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