Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) are in place to support employees in navigating challenges and promoting overall well-being. A key aspect of the success of an EAP is the expectation of confidentiality and ensuring a safe space for employees to seek support and assistance. The EAP is designed to provide a supportive and non-judgmental environment where employees can discuss their personal and professional challenges freely. Confidentiality is a critical aspect of an EAP. In addition, EAP counsellors are bound by strict ethical guidelines and legal regulations to maintain confidentiality. No information disclosed during counselling sessions is shared with supervisors, managers, or anyone else within the organization. An employee’s utilization of an EAP will not have any impact on an employee’s job status or performance evaluations.
The only exception to confidentiality occurs under the following circumstances.
- When a counsellor determines that there is a substantial risk of serious imminent harm being inflicted by the client on themselves.
- When there is a substantial risk of serious imminent harm being inflicted by the client on another.
- When there is a need to protect an identifiable minor or vulnerable adult consistent with applicable law.
- Finally, if it is in accordance with any other lawful requirement to do so, such as a court subpoena.
In such cases the appropriate authorities are contacted and not the employer.