Buck Bond Group
Update: How to make the most of employee assistance programmes

Update: How to make the most of employee assistance programmes

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What to do from our latest thoughts and observations?

  • Be aware that in the current climate new living and working adjustments could be impacting your people’s wellbeing. An Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a first line of defence that employers offer.
  • If you don’t have an EAP then consider setting one up – which can be done cost effectively and rapidly.
  • If you have an EAP then promote it. They are often overlooked by employees and in these challenging times they would value being aware of the service available.

It won’t be any surprise that employers are looking to provide additional support to employees who may be struggling to come to terms emotionally with the changes occurring in their day-to-day lives.

In these challenging times, EAP can be considered as first line support for your staff.

The value of EAPs today
EAPs offer:

  • Counselling and emotional support by telephone or video call (with the availability of face to face counselling inevitably curtailed for the time being)
  • Information around financial or legal issues – for example if an employee or their partner has a reduced income, or in the event of any issues with tenancy rights.

In our view it is likely that the need for mental health services will increase as time goes by, with the stress and anxiety caused by home working, and enforced close quarters with family or cohabitants, potentially causing friction.

EAP provider experience so far
Health Assured (the UK’s largest independent EAP provider, and our preferred provider for EAPs) has seen a small increase in calls to their helpline so far, but has confirmed they are operating well within capacity, and are preparing with additional capacity lined up should calls increase further. This is probably typical of most EAP providers.

What if you don’t have an EAP?
EAP premiums can be as little as £2.48 per capita per annum (plus VAT), which include g eight sessions of structured telephonic counselling and online cognitive behavioural therapy – among other benefits.

Our experience is that you can usually get a new EAP up-and-running – including digital communications to promote the services employees, within 48 hours.

What if you already have an EAP?
Remind staff that their EAP is there for them, and can offer support and information when needed, along with online support and information.