Employee assistance program

Employee Assistance Program

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Employers implement EAPs to accomplish a variety of goals:

  • Identify employee personal problems at an early stage before there is a serious impact on the job.
  • Motivate employees to seek help through easy access to assessment and referral.
  • Direct employees to the best source of help and high-quality providers.
  • Limit health insurance costs through early intervention.
  • Reduce workers’ compensation claims by encouraging easy access to help.
  • Decrease employee turnover.
  • Offer an alternative to firing valuable employees.
  • Provide employees with support and demonstrate that a company is a caring employer.


How does EAP work?


Employees can directly access the EAP voluntarily or be referred by their supervisor in cases of job-performance problems. When an employee uses EAP services voluntarily, there is no need for involvement on the part of the supervisor. However, when a supervisor refers an employee to the EAP because of job performance, the offer of help may be combined with progressive discipline, and the supervisor will need to continue to monitor the employee’s performance.




EAPs provide services to a variety of customers within the work organization. EAPs provide distinct but complementary services to each customer group—the employer or work organization, the supervisors/managers and the employees.


Organizational services


  • Assistance in developing alcohol and drug policies.
  • Consultation regarding legal compliance issues.
  • Design and selection of health benefit plans.
  • Evaluation of healthcare providers.
  • Compliance with drug-free workplace policies.


Guidance for managers and supervisors


  • How to make supervisor referrals based on declining job performance.
  • Separating performance issues from behavioral health issues.
  • Determining the need to intervene with troubled employees.
  • Following up on an employee’s progress.


Assistance provided directly to individual employees


  • General information and referral resources.
  • Crisis intervention.
  • Easy access to help.
  • Timely problem identification.
  • Short-term problem resolution.
  • Substance abuse assessments.
  • Referral for diagnosis and treatment or other kinds of help.
  • Follow-up contacts or sessions to provide support.
  • Educational seminars and workshops.


Additional services (in addition to drug and alcohol addiction problems)


  • Marital/relationship problems.
  • Job stress.
  • Childcare issues.
  • Grief.
  • Financial problems.
  • Legal concerns.
  • Eldercare issues.