Is hybrid working beneficial for employee wellbeing?
October 9 2023Read more
An employee assistance programme, or simply EAP, as it’s more commonly known, is an employee benefit programme designed to support employers and employees.
The programme provides employees with confidential counselling support to help deal with problems that might affect their work performance, health or wellbeing.
EAPs have been found to be the most effective approach when it comes to helping employees overcome the challenges of work and home life.
It’s also proven to be cost-effective as it tackles the effects of issues that could result in short-or-long-term absences. Either of which could have an adverse effect on the business.
For employers considering investing in this, there are a variety of providers and EAP pricing models available.
Before getting into the EAP cost, it’s important to highlight the cost of workplace absences to the UK economy.
While it might be difficult to calculate the exact price of employee absences because of ill-health, to get an almost accurate idea you’ll have to consider the direct and indirect costs.
The direct charges include national insurance and pension contributions and the indirect include the cost of replacing the absent employees. You’ll also need to consider the time spent by other employees to arrange and supervise cover, conducting return to work interviews, attending capability meetings etc.
With all of the above in mind, in 2017 the Office of National Statistics (ONS) puts the average number of sick days taken by employees that year at 4.1 days. Following that, in a 2018 survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), they estimated the cost of these absences per employee was at £554.
Finally, figures from Public Health England show 131 million working days were lost in 2017 as a result of sickness absences and presenteeism which they said cost the UK economy and government an estimated £100 billion and £15 billion respectively.
Considering the figures above, it’s no wonder employers are now taking steps to address the causes of these absences.
The cost of an EAP depends on a variety of factors including the type of programme, the number of employees, the industry you’re in and the essential components you require.
There’re a number of different approaches to EAP pricing. While some providers charge ‘per use’, or ‘per call’, other providers charge on a ‘per employee’ basis.
Considering the above, the Employee Assistance Programme Association (EAPA), a non-profit association representing the interests of individuals and organisations concerned with EAP puts the average running charge of £14 per employee per year.
Their research suggests an employer with 500 employees ends up paying as little as £8 a year. They go on to point out that the telephone only counselling service for 2000 employees would work out to around £3.50 per employee per year.
Although the above is a general estimate, it might be worth checking out the EAPA EAP calculator and ROI tool to get an estimate of what you’ll be spending.
You can also check out the EAP pricing page to where we base our estimate on the number of employees you have and the package you’re interested in.
As the most trusted health and wellbeing network in the UK and Ireland, our services make a positive difference in the lives of over 11 million people. Our award willing innovations include a state of the are iOS and Android app, an online portal, 24-hour telephone support and counselling either online, by phone or in person.
When comparing the employee assistance programme cost to employers to the costs of absences and lost productivity, it’s no surprise that the price of the employee assistance programme is considered cost-effective.
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