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What is an Employee Assistance Program?

Most business owners know that hiring experienced and educated workers is just the first step to ensuring workplace efficiency and effectiveness. Those workers must also be supported, and their needs or concerns addressed, in order to help them continue to perform to their full potential.

That’s why a comprehensive group benefits program can be so helpful in attracting and retaining the best employees. But did you know that many Group Life or Group Disability plans also include something called Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)? These programs can address a wide variety of employee needs and help to solve problems that could interfere with their work performance.

Over the past year in particular, we’ve all seen that anything going on outside of work (like a pandemic and the associated stress, for example) can affect happenings inside the workplace as well. Employee Assistance Programs are designed to provide assistance to employees and cover a wide range of personal and legal issues that can add stress to their lives or require time away from work for treatment.

What types of situations fall under the umbrella of an Employee Assistance Program? You might be surprised at the wide range of topics that your program could address, such as:

  • Alcohol or other substance abuse treatment
  • Child or elder care complications
  • Financial and legal problems
  • Marital or relationship discord
  • Traumatic events
  • Wellness matters
  • Adoption assistance
  • …and more

These services can be available via a variety of formats, such as email, phone, video chatting, or face-to-face meetings, as the situation warrants. They are delivered at no charge via EAP vendors or providers within the employee’s healthcare plan network.

Services are usually available to the employee as well as their spouse or domestic partner and children.

Many employers actually have Employee Assistance Programs available within their group benefits plans, and don’t even know it! For more information on EAPs and your group benefits plan, give us a call and we’ll be happy to explain your benefits.

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