Portfolio Minister for the Public Service Hon Frederick Stephenson said the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is not only about fulfilling government’s national mandate but it is a commitment to the well-being of Public Servants, it is an investment in its greatly valued Human Resources.
The EAP, he said, is confidential and voluntary; without prejudice to job security or career progression of public servants. Minister Stephenson says the Employee Assistance Programme is a problem solving initiative which reduces the economic cost of absence and low productivity; and it is pivotal to the development and growth of this nation and its citizens.
Permanent Secretary, Raymond Ryan while delivering his remarks at the launch said Public Servants are faced with new and emerging challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic and more recently Monkey Pox.
“Employee Performance can never remain constant” he said “ even among the best, with the best employee incentive programs there comes a time when even the brightest performer takes a dip which may be a consequence of work related or personal issues”.
Ryan stated the Ministry recognizes ‘employee physical and mental wellness are inextricably linked to their performance’, thus emphasis is placed on the continued development of the Employee Assistance Program.
Permanent Secretary Raymond Ryan says the Ministry of the Public service needs the involvement of the different departments and Ministries, as they too have a vital role to play in the successful implementation to the Employee Assistance program.
The Employee Assistance Program is available to all Public Servants. Short-term counselling is available in areas of Marriage, Family, Substance Abuse and other addictive behaviors, Financial Management, Stress, Families with issues of violence, mental and emotional issues, bereavement and work related conflicts. These services are also available to immediate family members of Public Servants.
The Employee Assistance Programme spearheaded by the Ministry of the Public Service, Consumer Affairs and Sports was launched on May 24, 2022 at the Methodist Church Hall in Kingstown.
The EAP programme, geared towards complimenting the holistic development of Employees within the Public Service, saw its early development over five years ago while the Public Service was under the portfolio of Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.