EXCLUSIVE: 89% of employers offer employee assistance programmes

EXCLUSIVE: 89% of employers offer employee assistance programmes

Employee assistance programmes remain the most popular support or counselling benefits that organisations provide, as offered by 89% of respondents as a core benefit, according to research by Employee Benefits.

The Employee Benefits Healthcare research 2020, which surveyed 200 HR decision-makers, found that this has decreased slightly from the 93% that offered this benefit in 2019, and even further decreased from the 96% of employers that offered this scheme in both 2018 and 2017.

A further 30% offer other types of stress counselling; this has been a popular benefit for employers to offer for many years, 42% offered this in 2018 and just under half (47%) offered it in 2017. Just under one-quarter (24%) offer other types of debt, legal or family counselling, down from the 31% that offered this benefit in 2019 and the 37% that did so in 2018. While the numbers this year show a slight decrease in the number of employers that offer counselling and support benefits, it will be interesting to see how this trend develops following the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

When offering occupational health benefits, the most common option for employers is to outsource to an occupational health practitioner or department, as cited by 38% of respondents this year. In 2017, 62% of employers offered this to employees.

The proportion of employers that offer on-site occupational health support has decreased to 12% since 2017 when it was offered by 27%. This year, 12% of respondents offer access to on-site gym or fitness classes, a decrease from the 21% that offered this benefit in 2017.

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Click here to download the Employee Benefits Healthcare research 2020