The goal of this study was to develop a theoretical framework for an institutional EAP.
The study aimed at firstly, assessing whether an EAP was needed at the University of the
North West. Secondly, ascertaining the extend of knowledge of management, academic
staff, support staff and general workers regarding EAPs. Thirdly, developing a theoretical
framework, according to which an EAP for management, academic staff, support and
general workers can be implemented. The study was conducted at the University of the
North West. It comprised of nine members of the management team, twenty- five
members of the academic staff; thirty-three support staff members and forty-one general
workers. The research tool used with the general workers was the interview schedule.
The research tool used with the other three staff constituencies was a self-administered
The findings revealed that all four staff constituencies felt that employees experience
problems which are in general, a concern to most employees at a workplace. The four
staff constituencies maintained that personal problems had a negative effect on the
productivity of employees. All employees felt that an EAP should be implemented. The
majority of employees stressed that confidentiality was the most important element of an
EAP. Consultation with staff associations was considered to be necessary by the majority
of employees. The general workers, in the main, felt that EAP practitioners should be
members of the disciplinary committee. All four staff constituencies were of the opinion
that employees would be willing to utilise EAP services.