Benefits - What really is an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP)?


An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can provide critical support services both on a company-wide basis as well as to individual employees and family members experiencing personal issues and challenges. We have seen these programs in action in unique workplace challenges and everyday employee life stressors.

Why offer an EAP?

An EAP is fairly inexpensive employer paid benefit and in some instances we see it bundled with a Life Insurance  product without any additional expense to the employer. The programs will vary in the types of events they will cover and to whom (employee or employee + family members). HR Professionals we work with use these services in varying ways. Companies which offer an EAP, typically see improved productivity of their employee population along with a proactive stance to help solve personal issues which may affect job performance. This also helps get your employees in front of a professional counselor and create a needed shield from HIPAA concerns. Finally, having an outside professional will develop a  case management program and referral to long-term follow-up services (if necessary).

Consider how an EAP will assist in these situations:

  • Assisting employees (marital, stress, behavioral and family issues)

  • Resource for a performance improvement plan  (anger management, coping skills)

  • Drug/alcohol free policy (services that support a drug/alcohol free environment)

  • Major/Minor company downsizing (financial issues & planning)

  • On the job injuries or death (crisis intervention or grief counselors)

  • Coordination of current group health benefits (coordinates for long term counseling)

Next Steps

If you are considering developing an EAP for your company, you should certainly consult with your trusted insurance broker/advisor to consider a selection of vendors with specific experience in serving your industry and companies of your size. Be sure to evaluate the expertise and background of the EAP counselors who will be supporting your organization. It’s also important to develop a written policy which defines the program's relationship to the company as well as reinforces stringent confidentiality standards. Finally, establish basic guidelines to evaluate the effectiveness of your program and ensure the employees who need it are accessing the resource.

The information provided here is for illustrative purposes only, and does not constitute, nor serve as a substitute for legal advice. Please consult legal counsel to ensure all facts and circumstances are taken into account in complying with applicable state and federal law.

How Flock can help

Flock provides an Reference Documents section, which stores the EAP information & contact information 24/7. We know that personnel issues may arise outside of regular business hours and Flock has you covered! 

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