Should You Offer Your Employees An EAP?

November 21, 2019

Employee Assistance Programs, or EAP’s, are confidential workplace services paid for by employers that help their staff deal with a variety of stressors that may affect their daily performance and/or physical and mental wellbeing. Problems within the family, worries about money or relationship struggles can all have a detrimental effect upon employees and their ability to perform in a productive manner within the workplace, and over time, such concerns can have a very real impact upon a company.


How could an EAP help your employees?

When you give your employees a confidential place to go to if they’re experiencing issues in their life that they’re struggling to deal with, you’re not only helping them as individuals, but you’re helping them to become better workers for you and your company. A productive employee is a contented one, and the minute they become discontented, productivity levels can quickly plummet.


How do EAP’s work?

Counselors from outside of the company are provided for employees as part of an EAP, along with resources and referrals to help both them and their family members. While the employer pays for this service for their workers, they are never made privy to any of the conversations that occur between employee and counsellor.


If an employee is experiencing an issue that is affecting them in any area of their life, they can call a helpline and receive help right away from a professional counsellor. Some issues that an employee might be struggling to cope with include conflicts with a co-worker, addiction (whether it be drugs, alcohol, gambling etc), mental illness, marital problems and so on.


Most EAP’s offer up to 3 counselling sessions that are free for the employee, so that the counsellor can thoroughly assess the individual and make an appropriate referral.


Do many companies offer EAP’s?

In general, those companies who employ 25 people or less won’t offer EAP’s due to cost limitations, and some smaller companies who don’t outsource HR may not even have heard of EAP’s. However, of medium and large sized businesses, up to 77% currently offer an EAP.


What is the average cost of an EAP?

While prices may vary depending upon where your business is located, and whether it’s a pay-per-use or fixed rate program, offering an EAP should cost around $35 per employee. As an employer you could be looking to spend anything from $10 to $100 per year, per employee.


Should you be offering your employees an EAP?

The statistics have repeatedly shown that offering an EAP to employees is a sound investment for any business, irrespective of size; for every dollar spent on an EAP, the business stands to make around $3.


Your business could be at risk of losing thousands of dollars a year from poor productivity and turnover, if you don’t offer your employees an EAP, so if you’d like to know more about boosting your businesses bottom line, consult with your local HR specialists today.

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