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8 ways an Employee Assistance Programme benefits your workforce

27th February 2024

Happy colleagues talking - mental health training H@W

An Employee Assistance Programme, or EAP, is a confidential service designed to help employees navigate through any personal or work-related issues that negatively impact their emotional wellbeing – and consequently, their work performance. They provide free access to various wellbeing services, with the most common being referral to short-term counselling on issues such as: 

  • Stress 
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Bereavement 
  • Relationship issues 
  • Financial worries and budgeting support 
  • Addiction concerns 

Early intervention support for these problems can help prevent employees from spiralling into crisis and subsequently prevent both absenteeism and presenteeism within the workplace. 

With the average employee spending approximately 50% of each day’s waking hours at work, and mounting economic pressures currently felt across the whole population, the business case for providing Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) benefits has never been stronger. 

What are the benefits of an employee assistance programme?

An EAP is a valuable resource in your health & wellbeing toolkit, with an estimated average return of investment of £10.85 for every pound spent – making an EAP one of the most cost effective health & wellbeing resources available to today’s employers. What’s more, EAP benefits can vary widely depending on the organisation – and employees’ – unique needs, including: 

1. Confidentiality

An employee assistance programme is an entirely confidential service. Employees do not have to report that they are accessing an EAP, and you as the employer are not informed that the employee has contacted the service without the employees’ consent. Furthermore, EAP counsellors will not share any information with an employer regarding any support offered, or any details that have been discussed.  

2. 24/7 support

Having access to an EAP outside of traditional working hours boosts the usability of your EAP benefits package. It’s not uncommon for emergency situations to happen overnight or on the weekend, so supporting employees outside of working hours not only reduces the risk of the employee needing to take time off work, but provides invaluable support at otherwise busy times.  

3. Support for managers

Effective leaders know when to look for support – and that’s where an EAP can help. Managing a team can be stressful, and at times overwhelming. While each EAP provider can offer a different service, many EAP benefits include information and guidance for leaders and managers when they find themselves dealing with difficult workplace situations. Furthermore, EAPs can also provide support in dealing with concerns surrounding employee engagement, staff retention, and even mediation, to enhance manager confidence within your business.   

4. Increased productivity

With confidential help and support from their EAP benefits, employees are more likely to feel that their health and wellbeing is being supported. This subsequently enables them to feel more motivated and engaged with their work, resulting in an overall boosted work performance – a happier, healthier employee is always the goal!  

5. Reduced burnout

 A recent report showed that almost half of UK workers are ‘running on empty’ with burnout, mental ill health and work-related stress at a £28 billion cost to the economy. Encouraging employees to utilise their EAP benefits will help reduce organisation-wide and individual stress levels, even during difficult times.  

6. Reduced employee absenteeism

Studies have found that organisations who provide EAP benefits are more likely to see a reduction in absenteeism. Why? Because put simply, employees who have access to a range of wellbeing tools, valuable resources and practical information are more likely to experience good wellbeing and are less likely to take time off sick! 

7. Positive work environment

Your EAP can be a key element of promoting an improved and more positive work environment, as employees can both use various channels to obtain the help they need and experience improved mental wellbeing, reducing conflicts in the workplace.  

8. Improved employee retention

Employees can access valuable information and support even if the challenges they’re facing aren’t work-related. This can enhance employee engagement, work performance, and job satisfaction. By supporting both personal and work-related challenges, as well as providing the tools to self-manage health and wellbeing, employees will believe that their employer actively cares about their wellbeing both in and out of the workplace. This increases loyalty to an employer, helps improve employee retention rates, and bottom line due to reduced recruitment, onboarding and training costs.    

How can I promote my EAP? 

No one benefits from an employee assistance programme if your employees don’t know about it! It’s your job as an employer to ensure your team members are aware of what’s available and how to access it. Ensure employees have access to promotional material and share it across intranet, newsletters and team meetings. 

Alternatively, read our blog on how to improve awareness of your EAP here 

Award-winning service with the Health@Work employee assistance programme 

In 2023, Health@Work partnered with award-winning wellbeing experts Vivup as our new EAP provider.   

This exciting collaboration provides a proactive and holistic approach to employee wellbeing by enhancing the range of support available. Our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) service includes a range of self-assessment tools to benchmark individual health and wellbeing around lifestyle behaviours, mental health, and disease risk. 

Employees can also access a library of evidenced based wellbeing resources, podcasts, video guides and webinars to help support employees to adopt a positive work-life balance and manage their own health and wellbeing.  

Support is also offered via short-term counselling, specialist menopause clinicians and a peer support group via Togetherall – and even access a range of specific supportive information and guidance for managers and leaders.   

Employee assistance programmes are invaluable tools offering a wide variety of benefits to employers and employees. For employees, they provide confidential support from qualified professionals to help manage or resolve difficult challenges and promote enhanced wellbeing and work-life balance. Meanwhile, employers can benefit from decreased absenteeism, improved productivity, a positive workplace culture, staff loyalty and reduced recruitment costs. Investing in an EAP demonstrates a commitment to employee health and wellbeing, and contributes to a resilient, engaged and thriving workforce.   

If you would like further information on our employee assistance programme, you can find out more at our EAP page; alternatively, call us direct 0151 236 6608 or email 


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