Group income protection clients to get improved employee counselling services

Article date: 17 February 2014

  • Employee Assistance Programme significantly improves workplace absence
  • Over half of EAP users say they would have missed work without counselling
  • 87% of Aviva Group Income Protection employees returned to work after active early intervention

Aviva has broadened its free Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) for Group Income Protection clients, so that all employees within an organisation can now access invaluable counselling and information services. In addition, any employees with personal or professional concerns are now able to access more face-to-face counselling sessions as standard on their employer’s cover.

The EAP service, provided by Capita Health and Wellbeing, is now available to all staff who are directly employed by an organisation with an Aviva Group Income Protection (GIP) plan, not just those employees who are covered on the income protection policy.

Aviva has also increased the number of face-to-face professional counselling sessions available as standard for all employees whose company has a GIP plan, to support them with difficulties in their lives and aid absence from work. Now, six sessions rather than four are available alongside unlimited 24 hour telephone access to qualified advisers.

Aviva has seen a 75% increase in the use of the EAP service across its corporate customer portfolio in the last four years, with additional data1 from the provider Capita Health and Wellbeing evidencing the significant benefits of the service to both employees and their employers.

Before using the services, around half (47%) of employees experiencing some difficulty in their life said that their ability to cope with the demands of their job was poor or very poor. After using the EAP services, only 4% still felt this way, with around two thirds (64%) saying their ability to cope with work was now good or very good.

Moreover, over half of EAP users (52%) stated that without the counselling services, their concerns would have caused them to miss work. Over two thirds (67%) said their worries would have caused difficulties in concentrating at work without the counselling they received.

Using the EAP service also helps improve employee’s satisfaction with their personal lives and ability to deal with their problems. For those with a difficulty, three out of five employees (59%) stated their satisfaction with their personal life was poor or very poor before they had counselling. After, only 7% still felt dissatisfied, with 57% stating their satisfaction with their personal life was good or very good.

Similarly, 69% of employees with a difficulty said their ability to deal with their problems before having counselling was poor or very poor. Post counselling, 61% said their ability to deal with problems was good or very good, with only 4% still experiencing a poor ability to cope.

Steve Bridger, head of group risk at Aviva Health, said: "There is compelling evidence that EAP services make a significant difference to employees who need some support in managing life's ups and downs. This in turn is demonstrably helping them cope with their work and prevent absence. We believe these services should be available to as many people as possible and we're delighted to extend our free EAP offer to all employees who work directly for our GIP clients.

"The EAP counselling services are used alongside Aviva's own in-house clinical rehabilitation expertise and last year, where we actively intervened early, we were able to return 87% of employees back to work.”

The EAP offers employees access to their own personal support system, professional advice or counselling on any aspect of their personal or professional life. Qualified counsellors provide confidential advice and support on any concerns and help deal with anxiety or stress. Medical services are also available to employees who need help or guidance on health problems, while information services are available to help with everyday work and personal challenges, including managing money, relationships and family life and retirement.

The new level of EAP benefits apply with immediate effect to both existing policyholders of Aviva's current GIP and any new clients that choose Aviva as their GIP provider.

- Ends -

If you are a journalist and would like further information, please contact: Melissa Loughran:

Aviva Press Office: 01904 452791: 07800 691947: melissa.loughran@aviva.co.uk

Notes to editors:

  1. Capita Health and Wellbeing survey of Employee Assistance Programme users (before and after outcomes), 2012.

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