Skip to main content
United States

What is an employee assistance plan?

An employee assistance plan is an employer-sponsored benefit for employees. There are numerous benefits offered by the plan, and they are mostly counseling services that address the dimensions of wellness, including physical, emotional, social, spiritual, occupational, financial, intellectual, and environmental. The program is confidential, and even though employers pays for the plans, they are not informed about what specific services any employee is using.

An employee assistance plan is not a long-term program. Employees receive a certain number (usually one to three) of referral sessions in which a professional assesses the issue. This person then makes a recommendation for a therapist, service, or other resource for further assistance.


Learn more about an employee assistance plan

When do I need to be aware of an employee assistance plan?

Employees can use the services of an employee assistance plan for things like stress, substance abuse, family issues, financial concerns, and legal matters. For example, someone may be stressing about a child’s behavior at home and is unsure how to handle it or how to help. Another example is if an employee is experiencing depression symptoms that are affecting productivity at work and at home. A program professional can listen to these issues and help guide the employee to a beneficial resource.

What is important to know about an employee assistance plan?

  • Although an employee assistance plan is a valuable benefit, many employees are unaware of it. Knowing more about the program may entice more employees to take advantage of it. There are some other important items you should know about an Employee Assistance Plan: The services are free, voluntary, and completely confidential for an employee.
  • In many programs, the employee’s partner or spouse can also receive support from the plan.
  • An employee assistance program should be used as a supplement for company-sponsored health insurance coverage.
  • Offering this plan is beneficial for employers, as it can provide up to a 300% return on investment.