Financial Benefits of EAP

Published On 07/11/2011
  • For every dollar invested in an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), employers generally save anywhere from $5 to $16 (United States Department of Labor, What Works: Workplaces Without Drugs, p.17).
  • When an EAP program is not available, supervisors are required to deal directly with employee problems which negatively impact supervisors’ productivity. Several studies reported that 90% of supervisors’ time is spent with 10% of their employees – a large percentage of who could be assisted by EAP through supervisory referrals.
  • When depression is effectively treated, absenteeism is reduced 12 days per year. Wang (Journal of American Medical Association 2007)
  • One major US company’s use of intensive case management and EAP intervention:
    • Reduced the number of psychiatric disability cases by 29%
    • Reduced the proportion of disability cases for psychiatric conditions from 33% to 8.1% (management employees)
    • Reduced the average lost work time for psychiatric disability 44% from 58 to 32.6 days per case
    • Total projected cost savings in 18 months $3,575,349 (USD)

Pompe, John C. Investing in Mental Wellness. Is there a business case? Caterpillar’s Behavioral Health and Productivity Strategy. Asia Pacific Employee Assistance Roundtable, Singapore. April 10, 2008.

  • Several empirical outcome studies conducted by employers report the presence of an Employee Assistance Program to be associated with :
    • 30% - 60% fewer on-the-job accidents and a combination of on and off-site accident rate reduction of 40%-80%.
    • 33% - 52% decrease in the number of sick days or disability units.
    • 43% - 50% decrease in absenteeism.
    • 79% decrease in grievances.
  • Depression is a major cause of disability, absenteeism, and productivity loss among working-age adults. In a 3-month period, patients with depression miss an average of 4.8 workdays and suffer 11.5 days of reduced productivity. In total, depression is estimated to cause 200 million lost workdays each year at a cost to employers of $17 to $44 billion.
  • In addition to its direct medical and workplace costs, depression also increases healthcare costs and lost productivity indirectly by contributing to the severity of other costly conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

Valentein M, Vijan S, Zeber JE, Boehm K, Buttar A. The cost-utility of screening for depression in primary care. Ann Intern Med 2001L 134:345-3600/

Leopold RS, A Year in the Life of a Million American Workers. New York, New York: MetLife Disability Group; 2001

Employer Costs Associated with Employees Caring for their Child's Mental Health

Cost Drivers Frequency Average Salary/Cost Total Impact
Absenteeism (full day and early departures) 1-2 days/month $588/week (women)
$731/week (men)
$1,411-$2,822/year
$1,754-$3,508/year
Presenteeism 4 hours/week $588/week (women)
$731/week (men)
$2,940/year
$3,655/year
Replacement Costs 17% of all caregiver employees 30-50% entry level
150% mid-level
400% specialized, high-level executive
Based on individual salary
Job-Share Costs (full time to part-time) 36% of all caregiver employees $2,306/employee for large business Based on individual salary

Sources: Burton WN, Chen C, Conti D, et al. Caregiving for ill dependents and its association with employee health risks and productivity. J. Occup Enviro Med. 2004; 46:1048-1056; Metlife Mature Market Institute. Caregiving Cost Study: Productivity Losses to US Businesses. New York; 2006; Center for Child and Adolescent Health Policy, Mass General Hospital for Children. Children with Special Needs and the Workplace: A Guide for Employers, 2004. Available at www.massgeneral.org/ebs. Accessed February 28, 2009.