Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Essay by v0504University, Master's June 2005

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As a human being, an employee ought to have small or big problems in his / her life (Blassingame, 2003). Obviously, people cannot perform at their best when they have unresolved problems. This paper discusses one of Human Resource (HR) tool to response these problems, it is called Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

What is EAP?

Definition: "EAP is a worksite-based program designed to assist work organizations in addressing productivity issues and assisting clients in identifying and resolving personal concern, including but not limited to health, marital, family, financial, alcohol, drug, legal, emotional, stress or other personal issues that may affect job performance" (Smith, 2000).

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) have become more and more important for organizations as they depend on happy and healthy employees that perform better to deliver profits (Stone, 2005). Managers are using EAP as a resource to help their employees handle work-related and personal problems (Hardaway & Wence, 1996).

In practical, EAP must work closely and consistent with HR department to achieve the organizations' strategic HR objectives (Stone, 2005). Employers include EAPs as one of employee benefits (Kirk & brown, 2003).

EAPs have been established in some Australian companies, to name a few of them are AGL, BHP, Len Lease and Qantas (Stone, 2005). EAPs employ the most psychologists in Australia (Kirk & Brown, 2003).

History of EAPs

EAP was first time used in the US in 1950s to encompass largely on alcoholic employees. In 1981, the UK follow the method to combat workplace stress related (Tirbutt, 2005, p.47).

In Australia, EAP was first introduced in 1977 as a government funded service to fight drug and alcohol abuse (Nankervis et al. 1996). A decade later, in 1987, a private provider association established Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA) and Employee Assistance Professionals Association of...