An employee assistance program (EAP) is
a work site-based program designed to assist in the identification
and resolution of productivity problems associated with employees impaired
by personal concerns, including but not limited to health, marital,
family, financial, alcohol, drug, legal, emotional, stress, or other
personal concerns that might interfere with work.
There are two kinds
An internal EAP is an in-house services,
staffed by company employees. An external
EAP is a specialty service provider hired by the employer.
Internal EAP's tend to be more costly than external EAP's, but are
sometimes preferred by employers because services can be more precisely
tailored to the employer's needs.
A survey of Workplace
drug abuse programs found that about 47% were internal and 40%
were externally contracted services.
The median annual EAP
cost per employee, which varied by region of the country, was $21.83
for internal programs and $18.09 for external programs in a select
33% of all nonpublic
work sites have an assistance program, serving more than
55% of all employees in U.S.> work sites with 50 or more
employees in 1993.
In 1991, a national survey
indicated that 45% of full time employees had access to an
EAP provided by their employer.
Work site size
is related to the prevalence of EAP programs; 21% of the
smallest firms (50-99 employees) have an EAP, and 76% of
the largest firms (1,000+ employees) have an EAP. The prevalence
of EAP's in highest in communications, utilities, and transportation,
at about 52%, where as mining, construction, and service
industries have the lowest prevalence, at about 25%. The
higher rate among the former may be due to Federal regulations
for drug testing and education.
|Potential savings from
per employee because of lower recruitment and training costs,
lower workers' compensation costs, and fewer on the job accidents
in inpatient substance abuse treatment costs after EAP implementation.
of absenteeism and workers' compensation insurance costs
data on EAP's generally indicate a savings due to fewer days
missed form work, lower turnover, and lower medical claims
of employees, spouses, and dependents
Potential savings in reduced health insurance
claims, as EAP services are accessed first
Potential savings in reduced turnover and increased
Potential savings for employees to access
According to an article in the June 1998 issue
of Nation’s Business, “A US Department of Labor
Study found that for every dollar an employer invests in an
EAP, it saves $5 to $16.