Policy 67 – Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Established: July 20, 1988

Last Updated: November 11, 2004

Class: FS

1. Purpose and Philosophy

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) exists to help employees with personal difficulties which, if unresolved, could have a negative impact on personal health, family relationships or work performance. Difficulties may include family, personal, interpersonal, financial, drug or alcohol problems.

The program is based on the belief that many problems can be successfully resolved if the employee is willing to seek help and appropriate assistance is provided. This includes the continuation of normal salary and benefits while an employee pursues treatment which has the prospect of being successful in a reasonable length of time. Although a family member, colleague or supervisor may urge an employee to seek help and all parties stand to benefit from improved interpersonal relations, increased productivity or decreased absenteeism, the decision to use the services of the program is up to the employee. Nothing in the program waives the traditional rights and responsibilities of the employee, the University, the Faculty Association, Staff Association or CUPE Local 793.

2. The EAP Committee

Advisory to the Associate Provost, Human Resources, the Committee consists of a representative from each of the Faculty and Staff Associations and CUPE Local 793 and from the following University departments: Counselling Services, Health Services, Human Resources. The Committee's terms of reference include promoting EAP, reporting generally on its use and developing recommendations to improve its effectiveness.

3. Confidentiality

All employee dealings with EAP are considered confidential except in situations where counsellors have legal obligations (e.g., summons to witness, suspicion of child abuse/neglect or imminent threat of physical harm to self or others). No information is shared with supervisors or co-workers. Information retained by the counsellor about counselling sessions is not released without written permission from the employee. The EAP Committee maintains anonymous statistics on EAP use and welcomes employee feedback and suggestions about the program.

Both assessment and counselling assistance may be arranged off campus and outside working hours. When treatment requires absence from work, it is the employee's responsibility to inform her/his supervisor, who is not entitled to know the details of the assistance but may confirm with the EAP Chair that EAP assistance is involved.


UW employees may access EAP directly through on-campus or off-campus services. On-campus assistance is available at Counselling Services and Health Services.  Help is also available through local support services, indirect access for which may be made through Counselling Services and Health Services. Services on campus are available at no cost to employees; costs for services in the local community are borne by the employee who then seeks reimbursement for eligible expenses through the UW Extended Health Care program. Dependents of employees can access EAP services but they must use off-campus services.

Detailed information about the program, committee and services offered both on and off campus is available through Health Services and Counselling or on line at:http://www.adm.uwaterloo.ca/infoeap/index.htm