EAP use rises in downturn

As the credit crunch bites, employees are increasingly turning to workplace employee assistance programmes (EAPs) to discuss concerns about job insecurity, financial problems and tenancy issues.

Employee Advisory Resource, (EAR), which provides 341 UK firms with EAPs that cover more than 500,000 employees, reports that, in July, calls relating to redundancy had increased by 55% on the same month in 2007.

Other key areas around which employees are increasingly seeking support include civil litigation (up 66%) and tenancy issues (up 46%).

Requests for assistance with financial worries and concerns, such as debt and mortgage queries, have also increased. These were up 7% in July on the same month last year.

Alan King, managing director of EAR, said: “The role of employers to support their people in these testing economic times is greater than ever.”