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Employee Assistance

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) offer employees a range of services designed to help them handle personal issues that may affect their job performance, health, and overall wellbeing. These services usually include assessment, shortterm counseling, and referrals for employees and their families. EAPs are commonly provided in conjunction with a health insurance plan. By providing these services, employers can help their employees stay productive, healthy, and happy.

Employees and their household members may use EAP’s to help manage issues that could adversely impact their work and personal lives. EAP counselors typically provide assessment, support, and if needed, referrals to additional resources. These programs are becoming increasingly more common in today’s worksites, and as the field grows, the responsibilities of employee assistance professionals are expanding as well. But many EAP experts have expressed deep concern over the numerous ethical and quality issues existing in the field today. The issues for which EAP’s provide support vary, but examples include

  • Substance abuse/addiction
  • Stress management
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Relationship issues
  • Financial problems
  • Workplace conflicts
  • Grief and trauma

Employee assistance professionals are responsible for providing confidential and professional services to employees and their families. They must adhere to the ethical principles and standards of the field, including respecting client confidentiality, providing objective and unbiased advice, and avoiding conflicts of interest. Quality assurance practices are an important part of the EAP role, and professionals must be aware of the limits of their practice, and take steps to ensure that the services they provide are of the highest quality. Additionally, EAP counselors must be knowledgeable of the laws and regulations that govern their profession, and take steps to ensure compliance.

In some circumstances, an employee may be advised by management to seek EAP assistance due to job performance or behavioral problems. This practice has been thought to raise concerns for some, who believe that the EAP may place the employer’s interests above the health and well-being of the employee. However, when done properly and with a highly qualified vendor, both the employer and the employee benefit. In fact, the goal of these supervisory referrals is to help the employee retain their job and get assistance for any problems or issues that may be impacting their performance. And, most importantly, any referrals for job performance issues or concerns are always confidential. As such, the employer never receives any information about the employee‘s participation in the EAP nor do they have access to any information about the services received. This helps ensure the employee‘s privacy and allows them to receive the assistance they need without fear of any negative repercussions from the employer.

For more information, contact Employee Business Solutions, Inc.


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