Here are some of the frequently asked questions about Employee Liaison Service (ELS)
Who can use ELS?
ELS is available to all employees of organisations who have signed up to the service.
What kinds of issues can I bring to ELS?
If it is affecting your work and/or working relationships, you can contact ELS.
Is there a cost for using ELS?
ELS is a free and confidential service for employees of organisations who have signed up to the service.
Is my organisation signed up?
If your organisation is signed up for ELS, information about ELS is usually available on your intranet or through your HR team.
If you are not sure, please contact us by freephone on 0800 35 55 55 to confirm.
How can I contact ELS?
ELS can be contacted through its confidential webform or by free-phone on 0800 35 55 55.
Can I email ELS?
We do not recommend contacting ELS by email as email is not a confidential form of communication.
We recommend contacting ELS through its confidential webform or by free-phone on 0800 35 55 55.
When should I contact the Service?
ELS is available to you at any time during normal business hours for coaching and guidance in resolving your work-related concerns.The preferred channel for resolving concerns is to discuss them with your supervisor or HR manager. ELS assists employees in situations where this is not feasible or desired. If you are unsure of where to seek help, you can contact ELS and we can help you determine the proper resource and refer you.
There is no limitation to the number of times you use ELS or the number of visits you have to resolve a single issue. Further, we do not disclose to the organisation that you have accessed ELS.
Though distinct, ELS may help visitors navigate to your organisation’s EAP as an available resource as part of assisting you in working through a workplace issue.
What is the difference between ELS and counselling?
Counselling is a therapeutic process that focuses on understanding the sources of a client’s concerns and often concentrates on the past.
ELS is not a therapeutic process. ELS provides support, accountability measures and strategies to shift thinking, attitudes, and conduct. Through a task and action-oriented process, ELS focuses on resolving a discrete issue by equipping you to make decisions and decide direction for future issues you may face. ELS is also embedded into the culture of the organisation, with direct access to organisational leadership. ELS provides signals to your organisation on trends or common themes for proactive resolution of wider issues.
What is the difference between ELS and an EAP (employee assistance program)?
ELS provides high-quality, qualitative insights to your organisation on a regular basis. EAPs generally do not serve this role. There is no limitation to the number of times you use ELS or the number of visits available to you to resolve a single issue. Further, we do not disclose to the organisation that you have accessed ELS.
Unlike an EAP, ELS is embedded into the culture of the company, and works to resolve issues with a deep understanding of the organisation.
EAP generally provides assistance with personal issues with no reference to your organisation. While there may be some overlap at times ELS and EAP serve broadly different roles for an organisation.
What does “off-the-record” mean?
ELS does not maintain any documents or permanent records that would reveal the identity of someone who contacted the office. While we collect basic contact information during the course of working with you, we do not keep this information ongoing. Off the record also means that we do not make policy or management decisions nor conduct formal investigations. The service is an alternative resource, complementing and not replacing the organisation’s formal channels.
What kind of information do you report to the organisation?
ELS reports on usage statistics, including the kinds of issues ELS is seeing. This allows the organisation to be proactive about dealing with issues it may not be aware of. ELS also provides anonymised case studies to the organisation for educational purposes.
What can I expect if I use ELS?
Although each case is different, generally a Liaison Practitioner listens to your concern and asks questions to fully understand it. The Liaison Practitioner will work with you to identify reasonable options for addressing your concerns. The potential pros and cons of each option are discussed in detail with you, enabling you to decide which option you believe is the best.
What professional standards apply to ELS?
Services like this are often known as an 'organisational ombudsmans' internationally.
FairWay’s ELS office practices in accordance with the International Ombudsman Association’s Standards of Practice. These standards ensure that our practitioners work to the highest professional standards.
However in New Zealand, under Section 28A of the Ombudsman Act (1975), the use of the name ombudsman is restricted to those appointed under the Act or where the Chief Ombudsman has given prior written consent to use the name. That is why we do not describe our service as an ombudsman.