Unum, the UK’s leading disability insurer, has partnered with Ceridian, one of the world’s largest providers of human resource services, to launch an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).
The new service will be offered under the name Unum LifeWorks and covers all employers and employees insured by Unum Group Income Protection (GIP) policies at no further cost. It went live in November 2008.

For employers, it raises the bar in the provision of EAPs in the UK by providing access to online and telephone legal and employment help-lines for managers and supervisors. It also allows for the creation of tailored legal documents, to help Unum clients stay compliant and make savings on legal advice costs.

The programme is based on a best practice EAP service design, which has worked extremely well for Unum and Ceridian in the US over the last seven years. It is designed to provide a unique range of services that will benefit both employees and employers by aiding them with potentially stressful situations and issues. Stress-related illness is becoming increasingly prevalent amongst workers in the UK, and offering an EAP will allow employees to seek advice at an early stage, before issues start to impact their health and work performance.

Further services available for employees include access to telephone and face-to-face counselling, matched referrals for child and elder care, and tips and advice online on a wide range of subjects. This is reinforced by printed materials and CDs which can be sent to employees’ homes, at their request, on relevant topics.

The launch comes on the back of new research from Unum, which reveals that over half (51%) of all UK workers believe that their work has been impacted over the past two years through stress and worry.

The most common stresses cited by workers concern personal health issues (38% of respondents) or other personal issues (37%), followed by stress due to the cost of living or not being able to pay off debts (32% and 25% respectively).

The research also revealed that work issues and personal issues are likely to have the greatest impact on an employee’s work performance; 72% and 71% respectively of respondents who admitted that their work had been greatly affected by stress and worry in the past two years cited these problems. These were followed by stress due to personal health issues (66%) and the cost of living (57%).

Wojciech Dochan, Head of Commercial Marketing at Unum, commented: “Unum LifeWorks will add value to our current GIP offering by not only helping both employees and employers to resolve potentially stressful and complicated personal and work-related situations at the earliest stage possible, but also by supporting organisational management in the areas of legal and employment information. We chose to partner with Ceridian because its vast level of expertise in this area will ensure that our customers and their employees get access to the best service possible.”

Jeremy Campbell, Director of HRO Sales at Ceridian, said: “We are delighted to be working with Unum to provide wellbeing services to their policyholders. It is unrealistic to expect employees to leave personal issues at home, but by the same standard, with today’s PDA and Blackberry culture, work rarely stops when you leave the office. Unum LifeWorks provides guidance to individuals on a range of life issues, whilst also advising businesses on how best to support their employees with balancing work and life. As well as providing emotional support from qualified counsellors and support for everyday issues, users can benefit from access to a range of health, educational/career development and debt/financial specialists.”

About Ceridian
Ceridian is a business services company that helps its customers maximise the power of their people, lower their costs and focus on what they do best. Globally, the company serves more than 25 million employees in 40 countries with a range of HR, payroll, Employee Assistance Programmes and funds transfer services, making it one of the few providers delivering services both locally and internationally.

In the UK, Ceridian serves one in eight people employed in the private sector. At the heart of its winning approach is a unique combination of best of breed technology, customer service and HR expertise, designed to enable HR to make a real commercial impact.

For more information
please visit www.unum.co.uk