Employee and family assistance plan

Employee & Family Assistance Plan

LifeWorks

LifeWorks Employee and Family Assistance Plan (EFAP) is a confidential service available to employees and their dependents, at no cost, to help support wellbeing. LifeWorks has a variety of services, including counselling, financial and legal consultation, childcare and eldercare locator tools, and much more. 

To learn more about the services available to University of Calgary employees or to book a presentation for your team about EFAP or WellBeing and WorkLife, contact Staff Wellness

LifeWorks services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 1.866.424.0699.

Why use the services? 

The EFAP is designed to help you tackle wellbeing challenges, achieve better balance and prevent problems from becoming overwhelming. Services provided can support you through life stages and transitions including family challenges, career changes, grief or planning retirement. LifeWorks counsellors can also help you deal with depression, anxiety, fear, substance use issues, and provide immediate assistance in times of crisis. 


Services

Achieve wellbeing 

  • Stress
  • Mental health concerns
  • Grief and loss 
  • Crisis situations 

 

Manage relationships and family 

  • Communication
  • Separation/divorce
  • Parenting 

 

Deal with workplace challenges 

  • Stress
  • Performance
  • Work-life balance 

Tackle addictions 

  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Tobacco/Nicotine
  • Gambling 

 

Find child and elder care resources 

  • Child care
  • Schooling
  • Nursing/retirement homes 

Get legal advice 

  • Family law
  • Separation/divorce
  • Custody 

 

Receive financial guidance 

  • Debt management
  • Bankruptcy
  • Retirement 

How to access

All of the services offered by LifeWorks are strictly confidential. LifeWorks is committed to protecting all personal information and to ensuring privacy. Call LifeWorks toll-free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to book appointments or access immediate help.

Telephone


Toll-free anywhere in North America

1.866.424.0699
 

International (outside North America)

1.905.886.3605
 

TTY

1.877.338.0275

 

Online resources

Access online services and resources from LifeWorks at no extra cost to you. With the UCalgary access code, you will be connected with a library of self-help options as well as a pathway to connect with a counsellor. 

LifeWorks keeps all your profile information confidential. Your employer will not be told who accesses any of these EFAP resources.

Get the access code


LifeWorks information

Current Employees

This service is available at no cost to all benefit-eligible* employees and their immediate family members* from the date of hire.

Former Employees

In certain circumstances described below, assistance is extended to former employees or their immediate families for a specific period of time:

 

  • 60 days following retirement
  • 30 days following termination
  • 60 days for family members of a deceased employee
  • 0 days following resignation

*Benefit eligible employees are defined in the FAQ section below.

*Immediate family members are defined in the FAQ section below.

To learn more about the Employee and Family Assistance Plan, a presentation can be requested.

When you contact your EFAP provider, you will speak with a qualified intake consultant who will:

  • Assess your situation. For safety reasons you will always be asked if you may cause potential harm to self or others whenever you call.
  • Ask you a few brief questions, including the name of your organization and some basic demographic information.
  • Assess your needs and preferences, and guide you to the assistance best suited to resolving your concerns.

It is important to know, you do not need to know what service you want, you just need to provide information about what you are currently experiencing. All of the information shared with the EFAP provider is strictly confidential and will not be shared with anyone.

Counselling services are confidential and professional. Assessments and guidance are offered that may help with many personal challenges including, but not limited to:

  • Stress management
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Alcohol/drug use
  • Marital and relationship issues
  • Family conflicts
  • Gambling
  • Violence/trauma
  • Emotional/individual issues
  • Bereavement and loss
  • Workplace issues

When you call the toll-free number, the intake consultant you speak with will confirm if your preferences for counselling.

Dealing with sensitive employee and workplace situations can challenge you as a people leader. Let your LifeWorks Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) help with confidential and professional guidance for any situation you may be faced with.

How it works

Manager Consultations are confidential and available 24/7. You will interact with an EFAP counsellor that will listen and help you manage through asituation you may not know how quite to handle. Together, you will explore options, brainstorm solutions, and work on action plans.

Let Manager Consultations help you with

  • Disruptive or inappropriate behaviour
  • Emotionally sensitive employees
  • Difficult personalities
  • Concerning appearance or hygiene
  • Career and team changes
  • Team dynamics
  • Cross-cultural communication
  • Harassment or violence
  • Expression of suicidal thoughts
  • Illness or medical conditions

These services are not meant to replace the university's Human Resources department.

Confidentiality is the cornerstone of the EFAP. The program allows all EFAP clients to discuss any life-issue in confidence, whether speaking with a Masters’ level counsellor or another professional (e.g. lawyer or registered dietician).

You and your family may rest assured that all conversations and dealings with the EFAP will remain strictly confidential within the limits of the law*.

Lifeworks is fully accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), an objective and recognized body for EFAP provider accreditation, which also ensures organizations meet the standards of confidentiality.

*Lifeworks is required by law to disclose what would otherwise be confidential information when there is a risk of serious injury to oneself or others, there is suspicion of child abuse as defined by provincial legislation, or when served with a properly executed court order (i.e. subpoena).

 


Frequently Asked Questions

An employee is eligible for EFAP benefits depending on their employment offer or contract.

Eligible dependents include your spouse and unmarried, unemployed dependent children, including natural, adopted or step-children for whom you or your spouse have legal custody. Your spouse and children must reside in Canada or the United States. An eligible dependent of a University of Calgary employee in Qatar must be a Canadian citizen. Please visit the UCQ website for more information about residency and citizenship requirements.

Postdoctoral Scholars 

All postdoctoral scholars and their dependents are eligible for EFAP services. For further information on benefits, please visit the postdoctoral scholar webpage.   

Spouse
The opposite or same sex person to whom you are lawfully married as evidenced by a legally certified document of marriage or who has, for at least 12 months, been continuously living with you in a role like that of a marriage partner (common-law).

Child
Your natural or adopted child, stepchild or child of your spouse who is under age 21, unmarried, unemployed and not eligible under an employer plan and dependent on you for financial support.

Overage Dependent (Student)
A dependent child who is over the age of 21 but less than 25, attending an accredited educational institution, college, or university on a full-time basis. Confirmation of student status is required each year.

Overage Dependent (Disabled)
A dependent child over the age of 21 who is dependent on you for support, maintenance and care, due to a mental or physical disability. Prior to your child turning 21, documentation is required to continue coverage.

The EFAP offers short-term, solution-focused counselling. Within the context of a solution-focused model, you receive the right number of sessions to reach resolution. If longer term counselling, hospital treatment or specialized services (such as medical, legal or financial help) are required, your counsellor will discuss referral options with you to get you connected with the most appropriate support.

It is important to remember that each presenting issue is assessed independently of each other. For example, if you have completed your sessions for anxiety, and now you would like counselling for a relationship issue, you can access the program again and the assessment process will be applied again, independent of what was done for your earlier presenting issue. Access to the program for any number of issues is unlimited.

If you feel your issue has still not been resolved please call the EFAP provider to book an appointment and have it assessed by a counsellor.

Confidentiality is the cornerstone of the EFAP. The program allows all EFAP users to discuss any life issue in complete confidence, whether speaking with a Masters’ level counsellor or another professional for one of the specialty services (e.g. Lawyer or Registered Dietician).

Our EFAP provider's standards of confidentiality are the same as those used by medical doctors in Canada. You and your family may rest assured that all conversations and dealings with the EFAP will remain strictly confidential within the limits of the law*.

A number of things are done to ensure confidentiality and privacy:

  • appointments scheduled for privacy. No two persons from the University of Calgary will have back-to-back appointments with the same counsellor
  • private offices, off-site
  • this program is voluntary, no referral is needed. You can contact us directly
  • phone messages never left without prior permission
  • flexible scheduling
  • reports made to the University of Calgary contain only aggregate data on usage and trends utilizing non-identifying information
  • secure record-keeping

LifeWorks is fully accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), an objective and recognized body for EFAP provider accreditation, which also ensures organizations meet the standards of confidentiality.

*Our EFAP provider is required by law to disclose what would otherwise be confidential information when there is a risk of serious injury to oneself or others, there is suspicion of child abuse as defined by provincial legislation, or when served with a properly executed court order (i.e. subpoena).

For routine (non-urgent) cases, you can expect to see a counsellor for an in-person appointment within three business days, and depending on location, an employee can have an appointment as soon as 24 hours from the time of the intake call. The wait time may vary if you have a specific preference for appointment time such as evening or weekend appointments. Immediate urgent support is always available by telephone 24 hours a day/7 days per week.

If you have not heard back from a counsellor to confirm an appointment time within 48-72 hours, please call the service again. Due to the confidential nature of the service, a message cannot be left when permission to do so was not granted. In such cases, you may not be aware of efforts made to reach you. When they do have permission to leave a message, there are times when it may not have reached you successfully.  

If the first counsellor you see is not the right fit for you, call the toll-free number again and they will look for another counsellor that best matches the nature of the issue and your preference for time and location.