In the UK it’s estimated that 11.4 million working days per annum are lost due to stress, anxiety and depression. And if you’re an employer in an SME, the impact of losing one employee to stress-related issues is disproportionately high. Early, pro-active intervention is shown to support the individual and positively influences an earlier return to work than would otherwise have been the case. You have a duty of care as an employer to provide your employees with a safe workplace. Additionally, keeping an eye on the health of your employees is a preventative investment that you cannot afford to overlook. One solution is an Employee Assistance Programme. An Employee Assistance Programme allows employers to provide employees with a confidential life management and personal support service, 24/7, 365 days of the year. Evidence shows that using such a service can reduce absence by 34% on average and that 94.7% of employees return to work with 14 days following an intervention of this type. By providing this service to your employees, you increase the chances of nipping such problems in the bud at an early stage. It allows the employee to access an experienced health clinician with full qualifications and accreditation in counselling for advice and support throughout difficult times. It can help with a huge range of issues from debt and family matters to substance abuse and stress. Face-to-face counselling is included where appropriate and there is an online health portal for information and guidance. And absolute confidentiality for the employee is guaranteed. The EAP can also benefit you as an employer as it reduces absence costs and mitigates potential liabilities. It can help reduce grievances and issues in the workplace. It can improve productivity and workplace efficiency, decrease work-related accidents, improve staff turnover, staff morale and motivation and it demonstrates an enhanced duty of care as an employer. According to the CBI, such a scheme is estimated to generate a staggering 14 times return on your investment as an employer. And traditionally, the SME market has been overlooked for this sort of scheme. Peninsula is the first company of our type to offer this to our clients as an added value service. For information about our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) Products, please visit the business services page.