Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Definition(s) of

  • A (36)
  • B (19)
  • C (58)
  • D (26)
  • E (34)
  • F (43)
  • G (20)
  • H (19)
  • I (27)
  • J (11)
  • K (1)
  • L (16)
  • M (27)
  • N (18)
  • O (18)
  • P (33)
  • Q (5)
  • R (30)
  • S (59)
  • T (16)
  • U (4)
  • V (7)
  • W (39)

“Services offered by employers to their employees to help them overcome problems that may negatively affect job satisfaction or productivity. Services may be provided on-site or contracted through outside providers. They include counseling for alcohol dependence and drug dependence, marital therapy or family therapy, career counseling, and referrals for dependent care services. See also industrial social work.” (Barker, 2003, pp. 141-142).

“An employment-based health service program designed to assist in the identification and resolution of a broad range of employee personal concerns that may affect job performance. These programs deal with situations such as substance abuse, marital problems, family troubles, stress and domestic violence, as well as health education and disease prevention. The assistance may be provided within the organization or by referral to outside resources.” (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, 2005).

“A confidential personal counselling service funded by an employer. EAPs provide professional counsellors with whom individuals can discuss their work- and non-work-related problems, which may be emotional, financial, or legal or related to alcohol or drug misuse.” (Dictionary of Human Resource Management).

“While the EAP started out as a way to help employees with alcohol and drug addiction, EAP professionals today say they need to be well rounded to address an array of problems. Issues that may affect job performance that are brought up by employees as often as any traditional addiction include personal relationships, depression, and anxiety, experts say.” (Pace, 2006).

"...work-based intervention program designed to identify and assist employees in resolving personal problems (e.g., marital, financial or emotional problems; family issues; substance/alcohol abuse) that may be adversely affecting the employee’s performance. EAPs that offer medical benefits such as direct counseling and treatment, rather than just referrals for counseling and treatment, are regulated under ERISA and subject to COBRA. EAP plans are usually 100% paid by the employer and can include a wide array of other services, such as nurse lines, basic legal assistance and referrals, adoption assistance or assistance finding elder care services. EAP services can be made available to not only the employee but also to immediate family members or anyone living in their home." (SHRM, 2009).

"...strategic analysis, recommendations and consultation throughout an organization to enhance its performance, culture and business success. These enhancements are accomplished by professionally trained behavioral and/or psychological experts who apply the principles of human behavior with management, employees and their families, as well as workplace situations to optimize the organization’s human capital." (Rothermel et al., 2008, p. 15).

"...an employment-based health service program designed to assist in the identification and resolution of a broad range of employee personal concerns that may affect job performance. These programs deal with situations such as substance abuse, marital problems, family troubles, stress and domestic violence, as well as health education and disease prevention. The assistance may be provided within the organization or by referral to outside resources." (2005).

Glossary Source: 

Barker, R.L. (2003). The social work dictionary (5th ed.). Washington, DC: NASW Press. International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (n.d.) Glossary. Retrieved August 16, 2005.

Heery E. & Noon, M. (2001). A dictionary of human resource management. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Pace. P.R. (2006, July). Styles of aiding workers evolve for EAPs. National Association of Social Workers News, 51(7), 4.

Rothermel, S., Slavit, W., Finch, R. A., et al. (2008).An employer’s guide to employee assistance programs: Recommendations for strategically defining, integrating, and measuring employee assistance programs. Washington, DC: National Business Group on Health, Center for Prevention and Health Services. Retrieved from http://www.easna.org/documents/PS2-NBGRecommendationsforDefiningandMeasuringEAPs.pdf on May 1, 2010.

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). (2009b). SHRM Website. Retrieved from www.shrm.org/Research/Articles/Articles/Pages/CMS_004450.aspx on January 1, 2010.