By the 1970s, these early employee counselling services had evolved into a more contemporary model, offering the broad range of confidential professional counselling and advice services that make up today's EAPs.
EAPs arrived in the UK during the 1980s - initially imported by UK subsidiaries of US firms - and have since steadily gained ground. According to a recent survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), six out of 10 employers say they contract EAPs to help manage long-term sickness absence.
Since the CIPD's 2006 survey, the number of employers using EAPs has almost doubled and, in 2007, employers ranked EAPs among the top three interventions for long-term absence management, behind only occupational health services and flexible working.
In 2005, the Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA) (www.eapa.org.uk) estimated that more than 1000 UK organisations provided employees with assistance programmes, meaning that around 2.26 million employees - or 10% of the UK workforce - had access to EAPs. With an additional 1.7 million employees with access to telephone-only counselling helplines, the EAPA estimated the value of the UK EAP market at around £25 million a year.
To read the remainder of this article please go to Health and Safety Professional
To view more articles like this please see http://www.healthandsafetyprofessional.co.uk/