Why Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) are so important to Expatriate Employees

Geoff Maggs
International Business Manager | Health Matters UK
26th April 2019
Member roleChamber member

Moving overseas can be a stressful experience for employees, who must quickly adapt to their new circumstances. Their new location will often have a different climate, time zone, culture, law, currency etc. which can take some getting used to. 

If an expatriate is based thousands of miles from home, they may feel isolated from their normal support network – i.e. close friends and family. 

So, what happens if something goes wrong in an expatriate’s life and they need someone to speak with? 

This is where a global Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) can help. For a relatively small fee, an employer can purchase an EAP for its staff and their dependants. Employees will be able to discuss their problem with a professional over the telephone, 24/7, before it becomes a bigger issue.

Examples of some common problems that are discussed are as follows: - 

  • Culture shock
  • Work concerns
  • Job stress
  • Financial issues
  • Gambling
  • Depression
  • Substance misuse (alcohol/drugs)
  • Relationship issues
  • Loss and Grief
  • Parenting 

If further help is required, a good global EAP plan will also include local face-to-face counselling – 5 or 6 counselling sessions are typically included, per issue per year.  

In conclusion, access to an EAP provides an expatriate with the peace-of-mind that they have someone to discuss their problems with 24/7, even if their normal support network is thousands of miles away.

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