An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is an employer-sponsored service designed for personal or family problems, including mental health, substance abuse, various addictions, marital problems, parenting problems, emotional problems, or financial or legal concerns. This is typically a service provided by an employer to the employees, designed to assist employees in getting help for these problems so that they may remain on the job and remain effective and productive. EAP originated with a primary drug and alcohol focus with an emphasis on rehabilitating valued employees rather than terminating them for their substance abuse problems.
Every drug free workplace program should have an EAP component. EAPs come in a variety of shapes and sizes and the cost will vary accordingly. Factors include the types of services provided, the number of employees, the type of industry, regulatory requirements, drug testing policy, location, and family coverage. Often the EAP is part of the employer sponsored health insurance program.
Many employers have an EAP but don’t promote it very well and therefore many times employees many not be aware of the assistance that may be available to them. USA Mobile Drug Testing encourages all employers to consistently promote the availability of an employee assistance program and other employee benefits.
Smaller employers often accomplish the EAP component of their drug free workplace program with a resource list of agencies that can provide drug & alcohol abuse assistance. USA Mobile Drug Testing compliance specialists can provide an EAP resource list to employers upon request – just Click Here.
USA Mobile Drug Testing compliance consultants have learned from their clients that employee assistance programs offer a variety of benefits:
- They can take the pressure off supervisors and managers, who feel responsible when employees’ personal problems affect job performance.
- They offer an alternative to firing, thereby saving the costs of recruiting, rehiring, and retraining.
- They offer access to treatment for employees with problems that affect their job performance.
- They have been linked to decreases in accidents, Workers’ Compensation claims, absenteeism, health benefit utilization, and turnover rates.
Alcohol and drug use in the workplace continues to receive attention due to the public’s increased awareness and concern about safety, productivity and health. At USA Mobile Drug Testing a drug free workplace has five major components: policy, employee education, supervisor training, drug testing and EAP. Having a comprehensive program will help employers to realize a return on investment for their drug free workplace program.
The typical EAP, or employee assistance program, is a confidential, short term, counseling service for employees with personal problems that affect their work performance. Employers should always have assistance programs available to employees who are having difficulties with life’s challenges. This helps keep the workplace more productive, lowers turnover, lowers absenteeism and keeps the workplace safer.