What Are Employee Assistance Plans?
Employer Responsibility: What Businesses Need to Know

What Are Employee Assistance Plans?

An employee assistance plan, also known as an employee assistance program (EAP), is a work-based program that offers employees assistance in resolving work-related and/or personal problems that could negatively impact their work performance. EAPs typically come in the form of free and confidential assessments, referrals and short-term employee counseling for things such as:

  • Stress management

  • Marital and family problems

  • Alcohol and drug problems

  • Legal and financial problems

  • Traumatic events

Typically with EAPs, employees have access to trained professionals 24 hours a day. All meetings or phone calls are kept confidential, and employers are not notified if an employee uses the service. Employee assistance plans are not health insurance plans nor do they offer financial support to employees. Employers pay for EAPs which are most often managed through an agreement with a third-party administrator. Benefits of an employee assistance plan expire when an employee leaves the company. 

Benefits for Employers

The top benefit for employers is increased employee productivity. When employees become bogged down with personal matters, they’re much less likely to perform at the highest level. That’s why many organizations offer professional resources to help employees balance their personal lives and work responsibilities. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, EAPs result in:

Paycor's Resource Center is full of articles, guides, and videos to help human resource teams navigate the challenges of people management, labor costs and more. Browse the resources here.

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