An Employee Assistance Programme - or EAP - is a type of employee benefit scheme, whereby an employer pays for counselling for their employees to address personal problems and/or work-related issues, which may be impacting on their work-performance, physical health and mental and emotional well-being.
Employers can offer this benefit scheme to their employees, which is where the counselling is funded by the company in order to support their employees if they are experiencing personal or work-related issues which are then having an impact on their performance within the workplace. Issues such as depression, anxiety, stress caused by circumstances such as bereavement, divorce, looking after sons or daughters experiencing health problems, partner being made redundant, historic abuse, financial worries and such like.
Everyday issues can arise for anyone and if not addressed and dealt with, can spiral into unwanted anxiety, depression, illness or stress symptoms, which then impacts every area of their day to day life. These issues which may well start off manifesting on a mental health or emotional health level, can then further progress to affecting an individual’s physical wellbeing leading to time off work.
Some employers recognise this and with some forward thinking, decide to put proactive plans into place within their workplace environment. It’s a smart move, as being able to help an employee in the early stages of needing additional support, benefits everybody. Workplace stress/ illness impacts not only the employee themselves but the employer with having to find possible replacements due to absenteeism and making a loss financially. It can also affect other employees with the knock-on effect of having an extra workload, staff morale and the ethos of a company itself.
Employee Assistance Programme (EAP Counselling)
Recently, a number of local employers in Leicester, Leicestershire have identified this and have entered into contracts with Counselling Services to provide this free and confidential employee service. Each contract is different according to the number of sessions required. Our EAP service is accredited by our professional body at BACP and The National Counselling Society.