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Briefing Paper: Advantages and Disadvantages of Employee Assistance Programmes or Schemes that are Available to Organisations Tutor's name: Chandra Bhasham Student’s Number: 21214913 Total Number of Words: 1,810 I. Introduction Also known as Employee Assistance Scheme (EAS), Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) is a free confidential “professional counselling scheme” and consultation services which aim to make it easier for most employees to deal with a long list of work-related and personal problems (i.e…
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Download file to see previous pages 316; Goldsmith et al., 2002, p. 107). Depending on the nature of each employee’s professional and personal problems, companies can either offer in-house EAPs or hire the service of a third-party EAP specialists that can provide a large group of employees with access to professional service offered by attorneys, doctors, financial advisors, elder and child care specialists, etc (Assure Group Benefits, 2013; Deb, 2006, pp. 317 – 318). There are advantages and disadvantages associated with the use of either internal or external EAPs. For instance, creating internal EAPs is more cost-effective as compared to hiring the service of external EAP providers (Highley-Marchington and Cooper, 1998). On top of having the opportunity to monitor the effectiveness of internal EAPs, organizations with internal EAPs can easily adjust the programme in such as way that it could provide its employees with a more effective solution when addressing their personal or work-related problems (IDS Studies, 2002). However, the use of internal EAPs could increase the risk of violating the universal rule on confidentiality (Newton, Hayday and Barkworth, 2005, p. 3). To ensure that the work-related and personal problems of each employee remain ‘confidential’, Newton, Hayday and Barkworth (2005, p. 3) strongly advise the use of external EAPs over internal EAPs. Aside from increasing each employee’s work productivity, the benefit of making EAPs available to organisations include improving the mental well-being of each employee, increasing employees’ morale as well as reducing the total number of employees’ sick leave and overall medical costs (Health Assured, 2013; Goetzel and Ozminkowski, 2008; Shaw et al., 2007; Thogersen-Ntoumani and Fox, 2005; Shapiro, Cheesman and Wall, 1993; Cooper and Sadri, 1991). It means that the process of offering effective EAPs could somehow help reduce the rate of absenteeism and employee turnover within a business organisation. However, several studies questioned the validity and accuracy of the methodological approaches used in the previous EAP research studies (Werner and De Simone, 2009, p. 357; Highley-Marchington and Cooper, 1998; Heathfield, n.d.). II. Problem Statement Highley-Marchington and Cooper (1998) and Heathfield (n.d.) argued that it is not easy to assess and evaluate the real effect of EAP schemes on employees’ trust particularly with regards to the need to observe the law of confidentiality. Aside from the fact that only 45% of organisations managed to evaluate the effects of EAPs, Highley-Marchington and Cooper (1998) mentioned that several organisations that implement the use of EAP schemes are seriously reluctant about publishing their audit results and research findings because of fear that the general public could develop a negative impression about the company. Because of “commercial sensitivity” issues, there are no concrete evidences that can literally prove whether or not the offering EAPs by employers can seriously create value on the part of the business organisations (Werner and De Simone, 2009, p. 357; Highley-Marchington and Cooper, 1998, p. 7; Heathfield, n.d.). Considering the controversy behind the accuracy and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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