EFAP (Employee and Family Assistance Plans)

Jul 30, 2013

Why should employers offer an EFAP?

Employers that offer an EFAP ensure that employees have the opportunity to engage the services of a professional counselor in a time of need without having to absorb the high cost of a session or having to locate a counselor on their own. These employers are committed to creating healthy and productive workplaces.

It is important to note that each EFAP visit is completely confidential. The types of services covered range from counseling for marriage, parenting, stress, depression, grief, health, alcohol and drug dependency to financial counseling and more.

Did you know that 77% percent of drug users and 90% of alcoholics are working? Forty percent of workplace accidents that result in serious injury are caused by substance abusing employees (Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, 2004). Also, mental health claims are the fastest growing category of disability costs in Canada, surpassing cardiovascular disease.

We all understand that employees are an organization’s most important resource and when they are experiencing personal and/or work-related difficulties they likely will not be working productively or efficiently. With an EFAP in place there is a proven substantial improvement in work productivity and reduction in absenteeism.

However it is not enough just to offer an EFAP, there must be effective communication to employees around the availability of the program and encouragement to use it.

Organizations that make a practice of communicating the availability of an EFAP regularly see much better results than those that don’t. EFAP’s often result in reduced overall health care and disability claims costs, more engaged employees and less employee turnover and the program is a key component of the employee benefits program.

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