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Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Providing your employees with the right benefit solutions for their needs is a challenge, however it can be simplified. The more equipped you are to make various options available to them, the better equipped you are as an employer to offer very valuable solutions.


One valuable solution to have in your benefit program is an Employee Assistance Program often referred to as an EAP. This addition to a benefit program will provide support to employees and their immediate family members to help with any social, physical, mental, or financial problems they’re facing. Let us take a closer look at what these programs have to offer your employees and their families and when an EAP might be an appropriate solution for a specific challenge.


Employee Assistance Programs are designed to provide employees with support across a variety of situations, including:

  • Legal – each year, employees can benefit from a 30-minute consultation per issue by phone or in an attorney’s local office, with additional services available at 25%  discount off the attorney’s hourly fee.

  • Financial – phone access to financial counsellors to answer questions or schedule a 60-minute counselling session per issue for establishing savings goals, finding resources for home ownership, college funding, or retirement planning.

  • Childcare – assistance with locating childcare, parenting, adoption, and education resources.

  • Eldercare – guidance on locating eldercare resources ranging from skilled nursing facilities to local programs and support.

  • Managers – tailored support for managers, who undergo the same problems as any employee, but with the added stress and responsibility that comes with leading a team.

  • On-site trauma support – in the event of a crises at work such as the sudden death of an employee, a workplace accident, a natural disaster, or an act of terror.

  • A wide range of others including nutritional & weight management, education, relocation, parenting, midlife & retirement, career, and everyday issues.

There are some key features you should know about to be able to accurately communicate these benefit programs to your current and potential employees. Here are just a few that are important to highlight:

  • EAPs provide support to participants 24/7, 365 days a year. They offer crisis support to employees and their immediate family members whenever, and however, they may need it.

  • They offer convenient access to support via telephone calls, online chat, video consultations, mobile applications, or through a web browser.

  • EAP services are offered both in-person or virtually, so each employee can access the support in the manner most comfortable for them.

  • Easily accessible to any employee when they need it, offered with translation services and with consistent quality of care regardless of where in the country – or in the world – the employee is located.

  • EAPs are designed to support all sorts of organizations, large and small. Within any industry, operating anywhere in the country, EAPs offer companies an inexpensive solution to provide their employees with the necessary supports to keep them happy, healthy, and well-equipped to do their jobs.

  • An EAP is an affordable solution to help your employees support any members of their team, and to make your company more attractive when recruiting new talent and retaining top talent.

  • The cost ranges from $3.50 to $9.00 per month per employee, either stand alone or in conjunction with other benefits.


Case Study – An International Solution

The Benefit Guys recently placed a new EAP program in Hong Kong. We have a US based client that has a Canadian subsidiary in Ontario. We have placed the Canadian operation in a Traditional Plan with a separate EAP program with Lifeworks. The US corporation was expanding into Hong Kong and needed an initial benefit program set up starting with an EAP with only four employees. We were able to set that up as a stand alone benefit to provide an initial benefit plan at an affordable stand alone rate. Tell us about your challenges.


Summary

Employee Assistance Programs are inexpensive when compared to alternative options, but they only reach their potential when there are no barriers to accessing their services. For employers this means reducing stigma of mental health care and opening a dialogue to discuss issues which employees may be facing. Employers need to inform and remind their employees where to access the supports offered through their EAP, and make sure that the program is visible and incorporated into conversations.


One of the main benefits of an EAP is how effective it can be in times of crisis. However, the best healthcare is preventative, and not reactionary. Having a complete benefit plan in place can alleviate stresses before reaching crisis, and dealing with problems before they are able to fester, is an extremely valuable option for your business and your employees.


If you are looking for resources to provide to your employees regarding EAPs, there are various pamphlets and program overviews at your disposal. Please contact us to answer your questions and provide any support we can.

Get your preliminary questions answered immediately.