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Supporting workplaces to adopt better practice Employee Assistance Program services

For: Employers and managers Information seekers

This project aims to provide evidence-informed guidance supporting organisations to provide better practice Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services.


Project outcomes

Comcare has developed evidence-based resources that support the design and evaluation of better practice EAP services that can improve organisational outcomes and workers’ health and wellbeing. The resources were developed in consultation with organisations covered by the Comcare scheme.

Employers across the Comcare jurisdiction have noted that the complexity of available EAP service offerings can lead to uncertainty in identifying which services best meet organisational and workforce needs.

The Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Mental Health reported that despite the widespread use of EAPs, the monitoring and evaluation of EAPs including an understanding of outcomes for those using EAP programs, has been insufficient and inadequate.

Comcare’s better practice Employee Assistance Program resources and guidance support employers with the procurement and monitoring of EAP services to improve organisational outcomes and workers’ health and wellbeing.

Our guidance provides the following:

Six evidence-informed principles for better practice EAPs – to ensure the service meets the needs of organisations and their workers.

  1. Implement a structured approach to EAP design based on organisational needs
  2. Offer an inclusive and accessible service delivery model
  3. Define standards for competent and qualified EAP personnel
  4. Continuous awareness-raising of EAP services
  5. Identify key metrics in support of EAP quality and performance
  6. Adopt clear and valid methods to understand the direct effect of EAP services on worker and organisational performance.

A monitoring and evaluation framework for EAP counselling services – to support understanding of whether services are fit-for-purpose, responsive and adaptive to changing needs, and to deliver measurable improvements to workers and/or organisational outcomes.

  1. Define the focus of the evaluation
  2. Determine the evaluation approach
  3. Understand data sources and availability
  4. Develop and implement reporting tools
  5. Ongoing quality assurance and evaluation.

The guidance has been informed by a review of the academic and grey literature, alongside an assessment of the current state of EAP provision across the Australian Public Service. Private sector employers and representatives of the EAP industry were also consulted during the development of the guidance.

Resources


More information

For more information on this research project, email research@comcare.gov.au.

Page last reviewed: 13 July 2021
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Comcare
GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 | www.comcare.gov.au

Date printed 03 Aug 2021

https://www.comcare.gov.au/safe-healthy-work/mentally-healthy-workplaces/mental-health-initiatives/better-practice-employee-assistance-program-services