What is an EAP? Confidential, short term, counseling service for employees with personal problems that affect their work performance Usually a program purchased or funded by an employer and services may be provided by an external organization or occasionally by a department within a company
What is the purpose of an EAP? Offers help with the resolution of problems that are affecting work Problems do not have to be caused by workplace issues Often refer to other professionals or agencies who can offer more or extended care in particular areas
EAPs Offer Help Dealing With: Personal issues Job stress Relationship issues Eldercare, childcare, parenting issues Harassment Substance abuse Separation and loss Balancing work and family Financial or legal Family violence
Some EAPs May Help With: Retirement or lay-off assistance Wellness/health promotion and fitness Advice on long-term illnesses & disability counseling for crisis situations Counseling for crisis situations Advice specifically for managers/supervisors in dealing with difficult situations.
Who can use an EAP? What happens when an EAP is contacted? EAPs are open to all employees and members of their immediate family. When an employee voluntarily contacts an EAP provider, a confidential record is opened. The EAP provider will collect any necessary information
Depending on the severity of the problem and the capabilities of the EAP personnel, will decide if the problem can be handled by the provider or if a referral is needed to an outside resource (such as a particular substance abuse program). Interviews are typically offered to the employee within a set period of time (e.g., interviews will be conducted within 24 or 48 hours) unless the situation is judged to be an emergency.
Types of Referrals: Self-referral is when the employee seeks help on their own Informal referral is when a supervisor, friend or co-worker recommends the EAP. No record of these two types of referral appears in the employee's personnel file.
A formal referral is based on job performance and the supervisor recommends the EAP. This recommendation may or may not appear in the individual's personnel file depending on the situation. Often, no notation is made unless there is a need for formal disciplinary action. What is discussed during the sessions, however, is not reported to the employer in either case.
What makes an EAP successful? Strict confidentiality Open to employees and their immediate families Recognition and commitment by management, employees and union (if there is one) that an EAP is needed Policies and procedures supported by top management, employees and the union Establishment of both formal and informal referral procedures Promotion of the EAP and encouragement to use the service Managers and employees educated in the workings of the EAP Periodic evaluation of the EAP to be sure the needs of both the employee and the employer are being met
Benefits of Having an EAP: Eight out of 10 companies have found improvements in employee attitudes and productivity It is not uncommon for the well-supported EAP to catalyze reductions on the order of 30 percent in lost time, 60 percent in accident and sickness payments, 50 percent in grievance and 70 percent in accidents while helping to maintain the healthiest possible worker, family member, neighbor, and community member
Survey of about 50 companies showed EAPs were responsible for: substantial cost reductions, declines of: 33 percent in use of sickness benefits 65 percent in work related accidents, 30 percent in workers compensation claims 74 percept in time spent on supervisor reprimands.
Cost Reductions for Company with 70,000 Employees: $739,870 in cost reductions in medical and sick leave claims in its first year alone $1,136,994 in medical cost reductions $602,541 in sick leave cost reductions
Cost Reductions by Type of Care: $123,977 as a consequence of managing problems with alcohol abuse and other drug use $21,702 in management of marital problems $158,995 in management of family problems $434,771 in management of emotional problems $425, 000 in management of problems involving job stress, financial problems, and other concerns.
Cost Reductions by Company: AT&T indicated that over a 10-year period, it saved $22.4 million in prevented heart attacks Lockheed demonstrated savings of $116.00 per employee in health care related costs
Lockheed divisions not participating in the program were spending 30-50 percent more for health insurance New York Telephone realized savings of $1,565,000 through alcoholism reduction and about $1.2 million in other behavioral areas. Note: These figures and statistics are from Employee Assistance Professionals Association, The Non-Profit Times, the Exchange Magazine, and U. S. Labor Department. Accessed 4/9/06 at http://www.eap4u.com/benefits.aspx
Peer Assistance Programs: Specific to discipline (professional groups) Offer alternative to discipline/loss of license to practice Professionals helping other professionals whose practice is impaired secondary to mental illness or substance abuse
Programs focus on helping licensed members of a profession within a specific state who have physical, emotional, psychological, or substance abuse problems Program services provided include evaluation, assessment and referral, treatment monitoring, support groups and prevention education programs
Other Peer Assistance Services Offered: Educational presentations regarding problem recognition and prevention Assistance in identifying problems Support for the affected professional and family members Technical assistance to mangers and supervisors