EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMMES: THEIR RATIONALE, BASIC PRINCIPLES AND ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS
AbstractThis paper presents background information about workplace programmes that provideneeded personal and social services to employees. These programmes are commonly referredto as Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs). The paper deals with the theoreticalbackground to aid an understanding of what these programmes are about. The discussionsrevolve around three aspects: reasons why organisations establish these programmes; theirunderlying principles and their essential elements; and the programme services, functions andstructure. In the first section, which focuses on the reasons for programme establishment, ashort list is provided of the commonly given reasons why organisations establish suchprogrammes to assist their employees. The second section focuses on programmes’ basicprinciples, while the third discusses twelve essential elements of these programmes. Thepaper ends with a descriptive illustration of programme development within a highereducation institution in which the author participated. This takes the form of tabularpresentations of programme functions and services as well as its structure. As the paper isdirected at the social work fraternity, it is important to begin by defining and explaining therelationship between workplace programmes and social work, through the route of elucidatingoccupational social work.
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