Insurance Jargon, Decoded: Employee Assistance Program

28 Mar Insurance Jargon, Decoded: Employee Assistance Program

EAP stands for Employee Assistance Program. For many employee groups, they are woefully misunderstood and underused.

When employees need help with challenging personal and work issues, EAPs offer confidential counselling and support. They are often part of a larger plan to deal with wellness and well-being in the workplace.

Many EAPs are equipped to address a range of issues:

  • Retirement or layoff
  • Health and fitness guidance
  • Advice and counselling on long-term illnesses
  • Disability issues
  • Counselling for crisis situations like a death at work
  • Advice for managers dealing with difficult or sensitive situations

Investing in an EAP can be a wise business decision. The reason for this is that when an employee is struggling with mental illness, financial problems, or substance abuse, productivity can drop off or absenteeism can increase.

According to a study conducted by Arete Human Resources, there was a 74% reduction in costs associated with poor work performance after an employee sought assistance from their EAP provider.

Today, over 80% of Canadian workplaces are said to offer an Employee Assistance Program. But underuse continues to be a trend with this benefit. If you have fewer than 100 employees, utilization is not often reported to preserve the program’s confidentiality.

Employers should regularly and creatively communicate the availability and value of this benefit. Let us know if you would like help letting employees know about your program or if you would like more information about how to leverage your plan.