Conference to Introduce New EU Model of Employee Support Services    
12/06/2008 09:06:35
The 29th Annual EAP Conference "Sustaining and Engaging a Healthy and Productive Workforce" which will take place in the Carlton Hotel, Dublin Airport, Ireland on 17th September 2008 will introduce a new EU model of Employee Support Services.The presentation will be conducted by Triona Brangan, Human Resource Manager and Jason O'Neill, Security Manager at the Four Seasons Hotel Dublin.
Commenting on this development, the Director of the EAP Institute, Maurice Quinlan said "The Institute has been monitoring the debate on the over identification of Employee Assistance with employee counselling and the commoditisation of the product over the past number of years and engaged in research development of an alternative model " He went on "Historically, the EU imported the US model of Employee Assistance with little or no adaptation and are now experiencing similar problems with commoditisation" The EU is involved in a process of harmonisation and employment legislation will provide a major influential role for employee assistance in the EU.
The EU issues directives to its twenty seven member states and under EU Framework Directive 89/391/EEC all employers have a legal obligation and duty of care to protect the occupational safety and health of their workers. This duty also provides that problems of work related stress, in so far as they entail a risk to health and safety. The directives are binding on all twenty seven EU states but members do have to opportunity to transpose Directives into national legislation taking into account specific circumstances in their respective countries. In 2007 The EU also agreed with the social partners a framework directive on the prevention of stress and in 2004 a framework agreement on harassment and violence at work .
Ireland. a member of the EU since 1973, introduced the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and Directors and Managers have personal responsible for Health and Safety. Breaches of the Act can result in six months imprisonment and/or a ?3,000 fine in the District Court or two years imprisonment and a ?3 Million fine in the Circuit Criminal Court.

Concluding Quinlan added. "What keeps the decision makers awake at night is the thought that they may be held personally liable for physical or mental injuries sustained by their employees. Compliance with employment legislation will be a major factor in managing employee behavioural risks. The situation is more serious in the United Kingdom where the offence of corporate manslaughter in the workplace became law on 6th April 2008. The developments are welcome news for Employee Assistance Professionals and will provide a new impetus in providing EU specific employee support services"

Book online at
EAP Institute, 143 Barrack Street, Waterford, Ireland
Tel: 353 51 855733 Fax 353 51 879626 Co. Reg. No. 120799