Almost two out of every three times that workers accessed their employee assistance program (EAP) for financial assistance last year, it was for personal debt or credit, found a survey by Morneau Shepell.
"In 2010, EAP access for debt and credit counselling definitely went up," said Karen Seward, executive vice-president of business development and marketing at Morneau Shepell. "This indicates that the fallout of the financial crisis was continuing as employees tried to work their way out of debt. And now that the credit rating of the U.S. has been downgraded to an historic low and the global economy spirals downward, we expect this to continue.”
Following debt and credit assistance, EAPs were accessed for support surrounding divorce/finances (8.7 per cent), bankruptcy (7.4 per cent), retirement (5.7 per cent) and taxes (4.6 per cent), found Impact of the Financial Crisis on EAP Usage from 2009-2010.
At the same time, EAP access for investment planning dropped significantly from 2009. The report showed a:
•80.7 per cent decrease in cases involving investment planning
•44.4 per cent decrease in issues involving real estate and mortgages
•28.6 per cent decrease for tax issues.
In light of the current economy, Seward said she expects EAP access for such financial matters as investment planning, real estate and mortgages, and tax issues to continue to decrease throughout this year.
© Copyright Canadian HR Reporter, Thomson Reuters Canada Limited. All rights reserved.