An Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a work-based programme designed to assist employees to identify and resolve both personal and work-related problems that might have a negative impact on performance. In order for the EAP to function effectively there is an identified need for a team of qualified, experiencedand dedicated professionals who are registered with the relevant statutory bodies, who abide by the codes of conduct as well as take cognisance of any issues of confidentiality and proper record maintenance for the success of the programme. Thestudy was conducted amongst EAPA-SA members to benchmark and explore the practice of the management and administration standard as prescribed by EAPA-SA Standards, as well as to identify any operational challenges in adhering to the above standards. A literature review outlines the history of EAPs in South Africa, the definition of concepts, discussions on the seven categories of management and administration standard as well as the theoretical framework upon which the study was grounded namely, General Systems Theory (GST). A quantitative, exploratory research approach was applied to identify and benchmark challenges in the field of practice, in implementing the management and administration standard of the EAPA-SA.The population included EAPA-SA members from both the public and private sectors. A structured questionnaire was administered electronically, using Qualtrics software.
The research findings indicated that EAPA-SA members are aware of the standards document of EAPA-SA and make reference to the document on a regular basis during their practice. Positive highlights include the professional development activities that were considered, proper management of confidentiality and recordkeeping as well as knowledge of and compliance with the ethical requirements as outlined by Standards Committee of the EAPA-SA.However, challenges were experienced in terms of staffing the EAP units, which were reported to be understaffed; there was insufficient consultation and supervision for support and professional growth and it transpired that members do not have indemnity insurance for protection during litigation.
EAPA-SA should considertheinitiative to introduce an undergraduate EAP degree to promote the establishment of a pool of qualified professionals at entry level, monitoring and evaluating compliance with the standards document by both the public and private sectors as well as marketing of the EAPA chapter branches to increase membership in order to create a platform for networking, learningas well as providing professional support.
Mini Dissertation (MSW)--University of Pretoria, 2016.