EXCLUSIVE: 96% of employers offer employee assistance programmes as a core benefit

core benefit

EXCLUSIVE: Employee assistance programmes (EAPs) are offered as a core benefit by 96% of employers, according to research by Employee Benefits and Health Shield.

The Employee Benefits/Health Shield healthcare research 2018 report, which surveyed 162 respondents in July, also found that other popular support and counselling services offered on an employer-funded basis include stress counselling, provided by 42% of respondents, and other types of debt, legal and family counselling, offered by 37% of organisations.

In 2018, 64% of organisations provide private medical insurance as a core benefit, while 25% also offer it for employees’ dependants. This compares with 77% and 36% respectively for 2017, showing a decrease of 13% and 11% over the course of a year.

In comparison, 43% of respondents offer health cash plans as a core benefit, which is a significant increase on the 29% who did so in 2017.

The proportion of organisations providing optical benefits above the statutory minimum has increased by 11% between 2017 and 2018, reaching 46%, while those offering regular workstation health audits has increased by 10%, now standing at 59%. Two-fifths (40%) of employers offer health screening and well woman and well man clinics, an increase of 9% since 2017.

Meanwhile, 34% are providing online lifestyle health assessments, an improvement of 7% since 2017.

Almost a third (30%) of respondents offer some or all employees access to mental health and wellbeing apps as a core benefit. This includes wellbeing tracking and mindfulness exercises.
Two-fifths (22%) also stated that they provide access to physical health apps. This is the first time this research has included these specific options, and the results demonstrate that organisations are increasingly viewing mobile technology as a vital component of their wellbeing offerings.