What we offer
We provide advice and assistance for psychological and / or legal problems and difficult situations in the workplace, and offer dialogue-based support to work through employment-related conflicts (for example in the form of mediation). We will work with you to analyze the situation, develop potential solutions, and if necessary point you toward other sources of support within and outside of UZH. Our services are focused on working with you to find solutions and boosting your own capacity to take action. Our aim is to prevent and de-escalate conflicts, encourage cooperative ways to work with others, and create win-win situations.
The role of the MBS is to provide individual advice and counseling. The MBS has no authority to issue instructions or take action, i.e. everything you discuss with us remains with the MBS. In particular this means that unlike a complaints office or ombudsperson for example, conversations at MBS have no automatic consequences, and no further investigations or other processes are triggered.
We are available for mediation in work-related conflicts. Two points must be borne in mind in this regard. Firstly, a mediation process requires willingness from all parties involved. The MBS cannot force anyone to take part in mediation, and the conversation only has a chance of success if all parties involved at least give it a serious try. Secondly, mediation can only work if the mediators are independent and impartial. While neutrality basically means standing on the sidelines and not taking sides, impartiality means that a mediator grants all parties equal interest, listens to all parties and tries to understand the situation of all those involved. Accordingly, a mediator cannot be called in unilaterally by one party as support, but must be accepted by all parties involved. In order to ensure that all parties start on an equal footing, the MBS mediators will begin directly with a joint discussion, or – depending on the situation – will offer both parties a short one-to-one preliminary conversation. The specific process is proposed and agreed upon based on the circumstances in each individual case.
In the case of work-related legal issues, the MBS offers a neutral, independent initial consultation to discuss the situation and background, the most important legal aspects (rights and obligations) and possible options for further action. Unlike a law firm or other legal advice services, the MBS cannot advocate on your behalf or actively assist you in exercising or enforcing your rights. Accordingly, the MBS cannot offer a binding prognosis on the prospects of success in legal disputes or legal coaching through change processes. However, the MBS consultants will be happy to support you with a legal assessment of your situation, as far as possible, to help you decide whether and how you would like to proceed independently.
The service is open to all UZH employees, i.e. academic staff (at all career stages, including professors) and administrative and technical staff, as well as PhD candidates who are matriculated but not employed at UZH. The Employee Assistance Office complements and is independent of other advisory centers or support offices at UZH.
How it works
We offer honest, sincere, neutral, clear and straightforward advice.
Our services are provided free of charge and participation is entirely voluntary. All conversations and sessions with us are kept strictly confidential, and we are subject to professional confidentiality rules. The Employee Assistance Office is operationally and organizationally independent: Other university units have no right to information or directive authority over the office. Unlike an ombudsperson, the MBS also has no professional or disciplinary authority to issue directives to other individuals or offices. The MBS is not part of formal internal UZH processes and cannot initiate such processes.