Almost half the working population is now covered by an employee assistance programme, with the market grow ing by 69 per cent since 2008, according to research from the UK EAP Association.
The EAP Market Watch 2113 report shows 13.2m employees are now covered by EAPs, up from 8.2 million employees 2008.
The report found 23 of the top 25 companies listed in the 2013 Sunday Times Best Companies offer their employees an EAP to support mental health and wellbeing.
The average annual cost of a full service EAP for a company of 100 employees now stands at £14 per person. The average utilisation of an EAP – including online services – is around 10 per cent, with 16 per cent considered to be high utilisation of a programme and 2 per cent to be considered low.
UK Employee Assistance Professionals Association chair Andrew Kinder says: “EAPs play a significant role in supporting the health of the nation and this new report estimates that half the UK workforce – that’s 13.8 million people – are supported by an EAP today. These programmes deliver valuable support, information and assistance to employees and have been recognised by Government as being an important wellbeing initiative that can help employers to effectively manage sickness absence.
“It is very significant to note that according to the Enlighten research, 77 per cent of the UK EAP market is served by Registered External Provider members of the UK EAPA. These members have met strict criteria relating to EAP standards, professional practice and delivery and it’s encouraging that the vast majority of employers in the UK are committed to offering high quality, rigorous EAPs to their employees.”