Employee Assistance Programmes
What is an EAP?
(Employee Assistance Program)
An EAP is a tool which helps your company manage its most valuable asset; its staff. An EAP gives your staff access to a 24 hour telephone based counselling service to deal with work related or personal issues 365 days a year, 7 days a week. An EAP not only ensures that staff have access to support at the right time; it can also improve staff performance, reduce absence and reduce costs due to stress.
An EAP also benefits your managers and supervisory staff through access to coaching and assistance in the areas of employee relations and other management concerns, as well as how to identify stress. An EAP is designed to be provided to every member of staff and is not classed as a Taxable Benefit if just provided to staff.
Hatton v Sutherland  - The Court of Appeal said "An employer who offers a confidential advice service, with referral to appropriate counseling or treatment services, is unlikely to be found in breach of duty" (to safeguard their employees' health)
For the staff
The telephone based service gives your staff and their dependants a sense of wellbeing that their employer cares about them by providing support not just on work issues but on everyday troubles, furthermore with the added burden of the credit crunch this could prove just the tonic for your staff.
When sufficient numbers of staff are included within an EAP, a quarterly report is provided to the employer showing the utilisation. The report will show the number of calls in each category, providing useful information as it can often identify trends within the organisation before they become out of control.
- 12.8 million working days were lost to stress, depression and anxiety in 2003/2004 according to figures from the Health and Safety Executive and Office of National Statistics.
- EAP aims to reduce employee absence and contribute to effective attendance management, improve productivity and staff morale.
- The cost of an EAP for your staff is tiny; the consequences of not having an EAP can be significant.
- Protect yourself against stress-related personal injury claims.
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