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Employee Assistance Program (EAP)


4 April 2023

An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a workplace-based program that provides employees with a range of services designed to support their well-being and address personal and work-related issues that may affect their job performance, health, and overall quality of life. An EAP is usually offered as part of the overall benefits package and is intended to help employees cope with a variety of issues, including stress, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, financial problems, legal issues, and relationship problems. Services are generally, free, confidential and operate in person, over the phone or via video conferencing.

In the past these programs have only existed in larger organisations but in recent years are increasing in smaller and medium sized businesses. There are a huge number of benefits for businesses and employees when they have access to an EAP.

Some benefits for Employees:

  • Access to support which is safe and confidential. This service allows an employee to discuss personal and work-related issues without fear of judgement or negative consequences if raised to managers or colleagues. This can help employees feel more comfortable seeking support and assistance.
  • Access to support which is professional. Typically, EAP services are provided by trained and qualified professionals, such as counsellors, therapists, social workers or psychologists who are able to offer guidance, support, and resources for managing various challenges.
  • Improved Mental Health. EAP provides access to resources which support employees to better manage stress, anxiety, and depression. This can lead to improved overall well-being and productivity at work.

Benefits for Employers:

  • Increased productivity. When employees are provided with access to support and resources to manage personal and work-related challenges, we often see a reduction in absenteeism with employees being more present and focussed at work. This ultimately leads to increased productivity.
  • Overall improvement in wellbeing. Offering an EAP to employees demonstrates your commitment to supporting your employees’ mental health and well-being. This can help to improve employee satisfaction and retention rates.
  • Cost Savings. An EAP can help employers save money by reducing the costs associated with absenteeism, presenteeism and turnover.

While an Employee Assistance Program is an additional cost to the business, there are a number of benefits to both employees and employers. Providing access to professional support and resources will help employees manage personal and work-related challenges, improve their mental health, and ultimately increase productivity and retention rates for employers.

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