Question 1. What Is An Eap?
An EAP, or employee assistance program, is a confidential, short term, counseling service for employees with personal problems that affect their work performance. EAPs grew out of industrial alcoholism programs of the 1940’s. EAPs should be part of a larger company plan to promote wellness that involves written policies, supervisor and employee training, and, where appropriate, an approved drug testing program.
Question 2. Do We Offer Eap Services?
No. CCOHS does not offer EAP services. See question below about how to find an EAP service provider. EAPs are usually a program purchased or funded by your employer and provided by an external organization or occasionally by a department within your company. You can find out if your employer offers an EAP service by asking your manager, Human Resources Department, Union or Health and Safety Representative.
Question 3. Who Offers Eap Services And How Do I Find Them?
To locate service providers in your area use a search engine, such as Google. Key words include “EAP service providers”. You may wish to add your location to help narrow the results.
Question 4. Do We Certify Or License Eap Providers?
No. If you wish to start your own EAP Company and offer EAP services we recommend you contact the Canadian Employee Assistance Program Association (CEAPA).
Question 5. What Is The Purpose Of An Eap?
The EAP offers help with the resolution of problems that are affecting work. These problems, however, do not have to be caused by workplace issues. Employee Assistance Programs are designed to help people understand or overcome their personal problems. While most EAPs offer a wide range of services, they often refer to other professionals or agencies that can offer more or extended care in particular areas.
Question 6. What Types Of Services Does An Eap Offer?
The ranges of areas typically managed by an EAP provider include:
- Personal issues.
- Job stress.
- Relationship issues.
- Eldercare, childcare, parenting issues.
- Substance abuse.
- Separation and loss.
- Balancing work and family.
- Financial or legal.
- Family violence.
Some EAP providers are also able to offer other services including retirement or lay-off assistance, and wellness/health promotion and fitness (such as weight control, nutrition, exercise, or smoking). Others may offer advice on long-term illnesses, disability issues, counseling for crisis situations (e.g., death at work), or advice specifically for managers/supervisors in dealing with difficult situations.
Question 7. Who Can Use An Eap?
EAPs are open to all employees and members of their immediate family.
Question 8. What Happens When I Call An Eap?
In most cases, an EAP phone number is posted or otherwise distributed to staff members. This number is often to what is known as a referral agent.
A referral agent could be a someone from within the organization such as a health professional in the medical department, a union counselor or an employee who has received EAP training. If there is no internal referral agent, the employee could be referred to an external EAP resource. Referral agents must be familiar with available community resources which could include social, financial and mental health services, professional counselors, or ministers. A referral agent defines the specific nature of the problem and refers the person to the appropriate resource for assistance. The actual referral depends on the type of problem, the preference of the person, and the ability of the person to pay for the service (if costs are not otherwise covered by the EAP or insurance program).
When an employee voluntarily contacts an EAP provider, a confidential record is opened. The EAP provider will collect any necessary information and, depending on the severity of the problem and the capabilities of the EAP personnel, will decide if the problem can be handled by the provider or if a referral is needed to an outside resource (such as a particular substance abuse program). Interviews are typically offered to the employee within a set period of time (e.g., interviews will be conducted within 24 or 48 hours) unless the situation is judged to be an emergency.
Question 9. What Happens With An Eap Referral And Who Knows About It?
In an EAP, there are three types of referrals:
- Self-referral where the employee seeks help on their own.
- The informal referral where a supervisor, friend or co-worker recommends the EAP. No record of these two types of referral appears in the employee’s personnel file.
- A formal referral is based on job performance and the supervisor recommends the EAP. This recommendation may or may not appear in the individual’s personnel file depending on the situation. Often, no notation is made unless there is a need for formal disciplinary action. What is discussed during the sessions, however, is not reported to the employer in either case.
Question 10. What Makes An Eap Successful?
Several factors make an EAP successful:
- Strict confidentiality.
- Open to employees and their immediate families.
- Recognition and commitment by management, employees and union (if there is one) that an EAP is needed.
- Policies and procedures supported by top management, employees and the union.
- Establishment of both formal and informal referral procedures.
- Promotion of the EAP and encouragement to use the service.
- Managers and employees educated in the workings of the EAP.
- Periodic evaluation of the EAP to be sure the needs of both the employee and the employer are being met.
In addition, the EAP must be monitored and evaluated to ensure continued quality of the referral/assistance and to correct potential trouble situations. An appropriate assessment, referral and follow-up of progress are important for continued success of the EAP.
Question 11. What Things Should I Look For When Contracting/hiring An Eap Provider?
Hiring professional services, no matter what the service may be, requires some investigation. It is the client’s responsibility to find a competent consultant who is qualified by education, knowledge, and experience. The following questions are not meant to be the only questions you may ask, but rather they are a start to your checklist.
Question 12. What Does Eap Stand For?
EAP or employee assistance program is a service provided to employees. Professional counselors who assist workers in dealing with issues that can adversely affect job performance and personal health staff it. EAPs may use wellness and prevention measures to control specific conditions. Some companies use EAPs to focus on the psychological aspects of disabling injuries or illnesses.
Question 13. Why Is My Company Offering An Eap?
The employer cares about your state of being and recognizes that personal problems can affect health, well-being and employment.
Question 14. What Types Of Issues Will An Eap Help Me With?
Employee Assistance Programs generally handle a variety of issues including:
- Drug or substance abuse
- Legal or financial problems
- Marital issues
- Dealing with natural disasters
- Difficulties handling child and elderly care
- Job related problems
- Bereavement and grief
- Mild depression and anxiety
- Emotional and physical trauma.
Question 15. Will My Boss Know Of My Request For Information About The Eap?
Requests to the EAP can be made discreetly by the employees. Normally there is no reporting to an employee’s manager of inquiries. On the other hand, when an employee reveals a condition, that may put the employee or others in danger and negatively impact his/her job performance, a supervisor may be notified of your participation in the program. Examples that necessitate such disclosure include certain mental illnesses, alcohol and/or substance abuse. The employer as a result of unacceptable work or personal behavior may refer an employee to an EAP. Also as discussed above the employee after requesting information can refer his or her self to the program.
Question 16. Can I Be Retaliated Against For Using The Eap?
No, but failure to comply with the successful completion of treatment as a condition of ongoing employment may result in adverse action, up to and including getting fired!
Question 17. Is The Eap Confidential?
An employee assistance program is mandated by law to maintain confidentiality. Any information about the employees EAP contact is strictly confidential. If the worker has been referred by management he or she may be asked sign a release giving management a record of the EAP sessions attended. There are exceptions to confidentiality that normally involve issues like child abuse, elder abuse, homicidal or suicidal tendencies, etc.
Question 18. What Does Eap Cost?
There is no cost to you or a member of your family for the direct counseling you receive from the EAP. The employer provides the service as a benefit to the employee. Companies understand that a healthy workforce makes good business sense if nothing else. If you are referred to a treatment resource beyond the EAP, there are normally costs. Your insurance plan may pay some of the expense. Make sure you understand up front about any costs.
Question 19. How Do I The Employee Benefit From The Eap?
When an employee assistance program operates as intended the workforce enjoys:
- A better quality of life
- Improved job performance
- A feeling of achievement
Contentment from meeting a problem head on and overcoming it
Oh.Yes, the employer also reaps the reward of a more efficient workforce.
Question 20. How Do I Contact The Eap?
Employers typically provide information to the employees about their EAP by company memo, office common area posts or email. The employee can then contact the Eap directly. There is usually a 1-800 number and address available. Some employee assistance programs have 24 hour hot lines for crisis and other emergencies.
Question 21. Is Using The Eap Mandatory?
The EAP is a voluntary service. But your supervisor can strongly Suggest you participate if he or she feels it’s appropriate. Nevertheless, the final decision is always yours.
Question 22. How Many Businesses Use The Eap?
Larger companies offer some form of employee assistance program. Smaller businesses are beginning to understand that utilizing the program helps improve the quality of the workforce as well as the quality of work.
Question 23. What Can I Expect From The Counseling?
Temporary and immediate counseling services are offered by the EAP to assist you in getting to the bottom of the problem(s). It’s a hands on approach designed to figure out the best course of action in bringing about resolution for the employee.
Question 24. Are The Eap Sessions On Company Time?
If an employee has been referred by his/her supervisor as a result of job performance issues, usually the employee is allowed to attend IEP meetings on company time. If you self refer to an EAP its normally on your time. EAPs offer morning, afternoon and evening sessions. They normally last about an hour and employees may be able to use their vacation, sick or personal leave.
Question 25. Do I Tell My Manager About Work Time Meetings?
You may tell your supervisor that you have a medical appointment or personal business to attend to. Of course if your boss referred you it may be in your best interest to let them know. The company may then allow the sessions on company time. Ultimately whether to inform your manager is up to you.
Question 26. Will Going To The Eap Help Me Keep My Job?
An EAP referral on the part of the employer should not be used as punishment or discipline of the employee. It can be used along with other measures to rate poor job performance. The design of EAP should always be to help the employee regain an acceptable level of work. If the EAP proves beneficial in improving the employee’s job performance that’s great. But whether your employer takes disciplinary action depends on you improving in your job.
Question 27. Who Are The Eap Counselors?
EAP counselors are people experienced, trained and educated in assisting employees and their qualified family members work out job or personal issues. Counselors also provide referrals to other institutions in the community as needed. EAP counselors have various degrees such as Masters in Social Work and Psychology. Many are Certified Employee Assistance professional (CEAP), which is recognized by employers, human resources professionals, accrediting agencies, and employees as the standard in employee assistance. Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) professionals assist victims of trauma such as…
- Natural disasters
- Terror attacks
- Military personnel
- Emergency service providers
- Crime victims
…and suicide, work through the period immediately following the event. Many of these professionals are trained and certified by the Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA).
Question 28. Do Eaps Actually Help Me The Employee?
Intermittent studies show the overwhelming majority of the thousands of employees who receive assistance from their companies EAPs are aided in conquering their personal and workplace problems. Please remember, your EAP can help you to sort out and address a wide variety of problems, but only if you, the employee, use it.
Question 29. Do I Have To Sign A Release Showing I’m Using The Eap?
No, you don’t. Nevertheless, there may be situations where the employee would be better off signing a information release. Some examples would be, when an employee needs an accommodation for a particular emotional or physical disability. A worker may be facing a disciplinary issue and wants to take advantage every available resource to maintain position or employment. By revealing the EAP involvement, the employee’s supervisor may view it as sign that the employee is sincere about improving his/her job performance.
Question 30. What If Supervisors And Managers Wanted To Use The Eap?
All confidentiality applies regardless if you are a manager or employee.
Question 31. How Would A Problem Worker Be Identified?
- Referred by co-workers or family.
- Self referral.
- Medical or human resource referral.
- Previous employer based on unacceptable job performance.
Question 32. Why Not Terminate The Troubled Worker?
Research reveals that about 80% of employees that have workplace issues are between 30 and 55 years old with up to 12 years of experience. Costs to replace employees average around $7000 and differ from one company to another.
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