Code of practice to be issued to clarify EAPs

The Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA) is to put together a “code of practice” that outlines the key role of an employee assistance programme (EAP) for its members in a bid to ensure the benefit retains its tax exemption.

This will then be distributed to its members for comment throughout August.

The government is currently investigating whether EAPs offer financial or legal advice, both of which are classed as taxable benefits. EAPs that offer counselling services that don’t extend into these areas are exempt from tax.
However, the EAPA believes that the government will be less likely to impose a tax on the benefit if it can clearly see what an EAP covers and how it is used.

Eric Marshall, chairman of the EAPA, said: “We want to draw up some guidelines that our members agree to work within. If we can demonstrate that EAPs work within the exemption, then we are not delivering anything that is a taxable benefit.”