Over half of HR managers across Europe have established, or are considering, an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), a study has revealed.
The report, commisioned by the Employee Assistance European Forum (EAEF), highlights the perceptions of EAPs amongst HR managers in over 100 organisations in the UK, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark.
It found that 53 per cent of HR managers had established an EAP, or were considering doing so, to provide support for staff and their families or as a part of a benefits package, in areas such as stress management, financial, legal, and health services.
"EAPs are expected to provide the same range of core services wherever they are being bought in Europe, despite different levels of EA development in different European countries," said EAEF president Richard Hopkins. "This study has helped focus European EA providers on the counselling services their customers want."
When considering purchasing EAPs, HR managers reported that the name, reputation and quality of the EAP provider, plus the relationship with the provider, were significant factors. The cost of an EAP was of particular signficance, with 66 per cent of HR managers saying that EAPs gave value for money.
The study also found that employers viewed EAPs as a means of promoting a caring employer policy, minimising disruption to work performance/productivity, optimising attendance and meeting duty-of-care obligations.