Healthcare & wellbeing – definitions – Employee assistance programmes (EAPs)

Employee assistance programmes (EAPs) are designed to provide information and access to counseling services on a range of issues, including stress.

An EAP might offer A 24-hour helpline employees can call for confidential advice and some packages also include face-to-face counseling. 

They are often used as part of a stress and wellbeing management strategy to contribute towards employees’ health and wellbeing.

Where employers do use EAPs they may be interested in their potential to limit exposure to the long-term costs associated with stress, such as increased premiums for the use of private medical insurance (PMI), income protection and critical illness insurance.

EAPs may be limited by confidentiality issues. Only when there is a significant level of work-related stress can providers notify the employer, and then they can only do so in general terms.

The price and degree of service for EAPs can vary widely.

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