↑ Return to About Us

Frequently Asked Questions




What is the Civil Service Employee Assistance Service (CSEAS)?

The CSEAS, under central management in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, is an important shared service element of the human resource structure in the Civil Service. It plays a key part in an ethos of promoting employee wellness and organisational effectiveness. The CSEAS provides a wide range of free and confidential supports to staff and management of the Civil Service designed to assist employees to manage work and life difficulties which, if left unattended, could adversely affect work performance and/or attendance and quality of life.

Employee Assistance Officers (EAOs) are located in Dublin (Head Office), Tullamore, Cork, Limerick, Castlebar and Sligo, providing a shared service to all Government Departments/Offices.

What services do the CSEAS provide?

This is an in-house programme where all employees may avail of one to one support, as follows:

– Assistance in evaluating and assessing difficulties
– Help in planning a structured approach to coping with and resolving difficulties
– Follow-up contact and support
– Short-term solution-focused issue resolution
– Referral to external professionals or agencies as considered appropriate and in agreement with the individual (any costs in attending outside agencies or professionals is incurred by the individual staff member)
– Information on a wide range of topics
– Advisory service and support to managers and supervisors, where they have concerns about staff members.

What issues of concern can the CSEAS assist with?

Any of us can experience challenging or difficult times or events during the course of our lives. Often these can impact on our ability to perform to our full potential in the workplace. At times such as these, it may be helpful to avail of a service such as the CSEAS for information and support. The types of instances can be many and varied and can include the following:

Work-related issues (Human aspects of work e.g. interpersonal difficulties)
Health issues
Family/marital issues
Relationship issues
Financial matters
Substance abuse
Eating disorders
Pre-retirement issues

(This is not an exhaustive list – if anything is bothering you, you can seek the support of an EAO).

Is the CSEAS confidential?

The CSEAS is a centralised shared service; therefore confidentiality is between the client and the CSEAS. Information and personal data disclosed by employees to the CSEAS remain confidential (exceptions are listed below) and will not be disclosed to a third party outside of the CSEAS without the prior knowledge and consent of the individual. This is in keeping with normal professional standards in relation to confidentiality.

Exceptions to confidentiality

Life-threatening situations to the individual, other parties or the public
Where there is a statutory responsibility to report
Where required by a court or legal process to do so
Where non-disclosure of information could compromise the CSEAS
Where the CSEAS becomes aware of a breach in criminal law, disclosure may be necessary.

What happens when contact/an appointment is made with the CSEAS?

Contact with the CSEAS can be made by phone, email or post. Contacts of a general nature may be handled by CSEAS admin staff, with referral to an EAO where necessary. Should you require immediate crisis support, an on-duty EAO will be available to speak with you during office hours. If you require an appointment or telephone consultation, your details will be taken and an appointment will be arranged with the relevant EAO for your Department/Office and Region.

The appointment arranged with you will be at the office of the EAO or, if this does not suit, at a mutually acceptable venue. Attendance during core working hours will need to be sanctioned by your line manager and a letter confirming attendance will be available from the CSEAS on request.

How does referral to the CSEAS work?

A staff member can self-refer to the CSEAS by contacting the Service directly.

Suggested referrals can arise where a staff member discloses to HR/line management or Chief Medical Officer (CMO) that he/she is experiencing challenges or difficulties. HR/line management/CMO may suggest that contact with the CSEAS may be helpful and leave it to the staff member to contact the CSEAS. In these types of referrals, there will not be feedback to HR/line management.

The CSEAS accepts management referrals from retained/local HR Divisions or line managers in the following situations only

* Where there is a threat to life e.g. suicidal intent

* Where the referral has been recommended by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer CSEAS Management referral form for use in these situations only is available on the CSEAS Website

Where a referral has been made by HR, line management or the Chief Medical Officer, confirmation of attendance/engagement will be given to the referring party and any proposed feedback or progress reports will be agreed. If the staff member chooses not to avail of the support of the CSEAS, this will be communicated to the referring party

CSEAS Management Referral template and guidance note

What services do the CSEAS provide to managers/supervisors?

Managers/Supervisors can contact the CSEAS if they have concerns about a staff member. The manager/supervisor will be afforded the opportunity to discuss these concerns in an anonymised, confidential and supportive environment.

How can HR/Line Managers make management referrals to the CSEAS?

The CSEAS accepts management referrals from retained/local HR Divisions or line managers in the following situations only

* Where there is a threat to life e.g. suicidal intent

* Where the referral has been recommended by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer CSEAS Management referral form for use in these situations only is available on the CSEAS Website www.cseas.per.gov.ie

This template (PDF version) or editable Microsoft Word version can be used by HR Divisions and/or line managers when making management referrals to the CSEAS. Completed templates can be emailed directly to the relevant EAO, or to the CSEAS central point of contact email address cseas@per.gov.ie for forwarding to the relevant EAO. Note that referrals can also be made by email which should include the relevant information. There is more information on this in the CSEAS Management and HR Referrals Policy Revision – Jul 2020.

For urgent situations, you can phone the relevant EAO directly or call the on duty EAO at the central CSEAS phone number during normal office hours. 0818 008120.

What proactive initiatives do the CSEAS provide?

The CSEAS provides a proactive approach to employee wellbeing by promoting and highlighting issues of relevance to employees. When requested by Department/Offices, presentations can be given by EAOs on courses such as induction, manager training and retirement planning. In addition, presentations can be delivered by EAO’s on topics including Dignity at Work, Stress Management, Conflict Resolution, Health & Wellbeing, Positive Mental Health, and Self-Care when Dealing with Abusive and Distressing Calls.