Employee assistance programs (EAPs) are designed to improve the wellbeing of employees by providing counselling services and other resources at no cost to employees. EAPs can help individuals work through a variety of personal and job-related stressors, in order to achieve a better work-life balance.
Unfortunately, some employees are reluctant to use their EAP benefits and miss out on an improved quality of life because they do not realise EAP services are strictly confidential. Below are some of the most common concerns and clarifications around EAP counselling confidentiality.
Will my personal information be kept confidential?
- All personal information as well as information relating to the content of the counselling provided to employees by your EAP provider is kept strictly confidential.
- Personal information collected and used in the provision of EAP services is protected by the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002, and the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998.
- What you talk about with your clinician is not shared with anyone else, unless you give your written consent, where there is a legal obligation to do so, or if there is an immediate and specified risk of harm to the employee or others. Limits to confidentiality are discussed in the first session so that you are aware of our processes.
Will anyone in my organisation know what I am seeing a clinician about?
- When an employee receives counselling through Caraniche’s EAP service, none of the issues discussed in session are disclosed to anyone at their workplace.
- All Caraniche clinicians are bound by strict professional codes of ethics and confidentiality. What you talk about with your clinician is not shared with anyone else, unless you give your written consent.
- Confidentiality is discussed in the first session so that you are aware of our processes, including the only limits to confidentiality such as we are required by law to provide information (for example as a result of a subpoena), or where there is a duty of care to ensure the safety of the employee or others.
Will accessing EAP services affect my career or position?
Accessing EAP services is voluntary and confidential. Job security and promotional opportunities are not jeopardised by participation.
How much is reported back to employers?
- No personal or identifiable information will be reported back to employers from an EAP session.
- We are bound by Australian privacy law, including the very strict guidelines about the privacy of health information.
- We only report back overall statistics to employers unless clients give us permission to tell their employer something, or we are required by law to provide information (for example as a result of a subpoena) or where there is a duty of care to ensure the safety of the employee or others.
Can I access EAP services without anyone at my work knowing?
While the content of each counselling session is confidential, the level of privacy a person can expect may vary according to how the services are accessed.
Our EAP services include telephone-based and video-based confidential counselling, as well as off-site confidential counselling, where the employee goes to a separate location from their workplace to receive counselling services. This ensures both confidentiality and privacy, offering employees a chance to attend sessions without making it known to others in the workplace.
Our goal is to help employees get the best results possible by offering the most secure and confidential services possible.