Sustainable well-being at work (PysTy model)

The Sustainable well-being at work (PysTy) model is based on early support and attention to care. The objective is to maintain and promote the working capacity, work-related well-being and occupational health of Aalto faculty and staff, as well as prevent the deterioration of working ability.
Aalto University Otaniemi Campus in Summer / Photo by Aalto University, Mikko Raskinen

All employees have responsibility for their own working ability and well-being at work. Any issues possibly having a negative change or influence on work the expertise of occupational health care may be needed in addition to PysTy model to check employee’s ability to work and coping with work.

PysTy discussion is used in the following situations

Change in ability to work, work performance or conduct at work

The factors affecting the ability to work and well-being at work of the employee may have to do with health, life situation or work. There may be, for example, illness, a drug or alcohol problem, poor workplace atmosphere or deficiencies in one’s expertise behind these issues. Problems with ability to work may translate into frequent sick leaves, deteriorating quality of work, changes in conduct, general lack of motivation or difficulties in following the agreed rules.

The employee and supervisor should discuss problems possible having a negative influence on work as early as possible. Both the the employee and supervisor may take the initiative for the PysTy discussion. In cases where the issue affects the workplace on a broad scale or the safety of a colleague is at stake, also other members of the work community may take the initiative. In all cases and situations you are able to ask help and support from your depatrment’s HR.

Frequent or long sickness absences

If an employee accumulates sick leaves:

  • one uninterrupted sick leave lasting at least 30 days,
  • sick leaves accumulatively totalling 30 days or more during the calendar year, or
  • three or more short sick leave periods during a four-month period,

he/she should discuss the influence of the absence on work and well-being at work with his/her supervisor in accordance with the PysTy model. The discussion may benefit from the use of the PysTy form.

Particularly in connection with long sick leaves, it is recommended that a working ability discussion in the occupational health services is arranged already during the sick leave, in good time before the sick leave ends.

The goal of the discussion is to find the most appropriate alternative in the employee's situation to return to work. If the return to work occurs on part-time basis through Partial Sickness Allowance, for example, arrangements for claiming the allowance should be done in time before the end of sick absence in the occupational health care.

Harassment and inappropriate treatment

Aalto University has a model to prevent harassment or inappropriate treatment is in use. An employee who is subjected to harassment or inappropriate behaviour should inform his/her supervisor of such treatment as quickly as possible. In this situation, the employee and supervisor can utilise the PysTy form. Depending on the situation, an employee can also contact the supervisor’s superior or trade union representative, department's HR or some other support person.

Suspicion related to drug or alcohol problem

Aalto University has a zero tolerance policy for alcohol or substance use for its employees on duty, and the Aalto University's alcohol and substance misuse policy obligates all employees. If an employee is suspected of any degree of alcohol or substance misuse, the supervisor must propose a PysTy discussion with the employee and take measures to support the well-being at work of the employee. The employee may also take the initiative.

If the employee shows up at work under the influence of alcohol or substances, he/she should be taken to the occupational health care to give a breath sample. The hearing process is always started in the substance abuse case. The employer lead agreement on referral for treatment is also started in the occupational health care.

Preparing for PysTy discussion

The supervisor or, if the situation requires, the supervisor’s supervisor personally agrees with the employee on the time for the PysTy discussion. The employee is told in advance why the discussion will occur. A peaceful, neutral area should be reserved for the PysTy discussion. Before the discussion, the attendees in the discussion are also agreed on. The employee may ask the trade union representative, occupational safety representative or other support person to join. As necessary, the HR manager or coordinator also take part in this discussion. Before the discussion it is also good to familiarise oneself with the PysTy form.

PysTy discussion

The employee and supervisor discuss the matter that has come up openly and in confidence. They agree in discussion on the measures to improve the situation as well as the responsibilities involved in implementing them. The PysTy form is utilised in discussion. During the discussion, the PysTy form is used to agree on the follow-up measures and monitoring. When filling in the PysTy form, fill in the most relevant and important items for your situation. For the purposes of follow-up measures and monitoring, it is crucially important to record all that has been agreed in the meeting. With the consent of the employee, the original of the PysTy form is sent to the school's HR manager in a sealed envelope. The employee and supervisor each receive their own copy of the form. With the consent of the employee, the PysTy form can also be sent to occupational health care.

Follow-up discussion

A follow-up meeting is held in order to go through the measures agreed upon in the previous meeting and to review their effect on the current situation. The meeting is also a chance for the attendees to check if there is need for a new follow-up plan. The issues agreed on are written down even in the event that there is no need for further follow-up meetings. In the follow-up discussion, the PysTy form is utilised.

The role of occupational health services as part of the PysTy model

If the measures and solutions agreed in the PysTy discussion do not improve the situation, the supervisor guides the employee to the occupational health services for a work ability discussion. During the work ability discussion, a possibility to organise a corresponding work to the employee’s remaining ability to work is figured out. Necessary support actions are also checked in the discussion. The primary objective is that the employee is capable of continuing his/her work full-time. According to the situation possible support actions may be Partial Sickness Allowance, work try-out, alternative work, task modification, ergonomic improvement or working time modification.

The employee, supervisor, occupational health physician and school’s HR representative participate in the work ability discussion. The employee may also ask the trade union representative, occupational safety representative or other support person to join. A meeting to assess the ability to work is organised in order to hear all parties and find solutions to support and further the ability to work of employee. During the discussion, the schedule of the follow-up measures and related responsibilities and monitoring are agreed on. The issues agreed on are written down. The meeting parties have a confidentiality obligation.

Further information

This service is provided by:

HR Services

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