Talking with clients this past week, staff morale and mental health following lockdown 5.0 has hit an all-time low.

There are a number of factors contributing to this including employees working from home for the foreseeable future due to capacity restrictions, cancellation of leave plans and often missing out on their holidays by just 24 hours, restrictions that still prevent everyone from seeing family and loved ones; it feels like a never-ending rollercoaster and affects everyone in very different ways.

With each lockdown comes increasing pressure for employers to ensure that a focus on employee wellbeing and mental health in the workplace is at the forefront.

Workplace Health and Safety laws require employers to provide a workplace that is safe for workers’ mental health as well as their physical safety. This is more prevalent with Covid-19 and the ongoing effects of multiple lockdowns over the past 18 months.

Mental Health conditions cost Australian workplaces an estimated $10.9 billion per year.

Pricewaterhouse Coopers study showed that for every $1 an organisation spends on mental health initiatives, they receive a positive return on the investment of $2.30. The benefits are due to the reduced compensation claims, and a reduction in absenteeism and presenteeism (poor productivity).

An option that more and more employers are now turning to is implementing an Employee Assistance Program.

Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) allow employers to support their employees – and often their employees’ families – through confidential counselling sessions with qualified and registered psychologists. They help employees to deal with work-related and personal issues that may affect workplace attitudes, performance and productivity.

EAP offerings can take the pressure off employers when they are trying to assist staff in dealing with areas of mental health, anxiety and personal life pressures when they don’t have the expertise or knowledge to assist themselves. And employees can get immediate access to help with most EAP services offering 24-hour services/support.

Choosing an EAP begins with finding the right provider that suits your business needs and size. You need to ensure that counsellors have the right credentials, they can provide a quick response time for support, ensure appropriate follow-up with employees, and offer multiple contact options such as face to face, phone counselling, online/zoom and email.

EAP offers support for personal and work-related issues such as:

  • Personal and workplace relationships
  • Covid 19
  • Career and life transitions
  • Communication break-down
  • Sleep and fatigue
  • Dealing with a crisis
  • Financial and legal advice
  • Workplace changes
  • Nutrition and health
  • Gambling, drug, alcohol and other addictions
  • Grief, bereavement and loss
  • Conflict at work
  • Manager coaching
  • Mental Health
  • Motivation and self-esteem
  • Anger and violence

The psychological and financial costs of Covid-19 are taking a toll on all businesses and now, more than ever, employers have a responsibility to support their employees and contribute to their wellbeing.

If you want to learn more about implementing an EAP service for your business, please contact Taryn or Ange on 5331 1734 or by emailing



Disclaimer: The material contained in this publication is of a general nature only. It is not, nor is intended to be, legal advice. If you wish to act based on the content of this publication, we recommend that you seek professional advice.

About The Author
Taryn Heinrich

Taryn’s passion is working with businesses and individuals to bring out their best. Taryn developed her HR generalist skills working on investigations, strategic planning, employment contracts, and developing and implementing HR policies and procedures.

Working closely with your business and employees, Taryn has a distinctive talent for setting people up with the tools they need to do their job safely and helping your business operate successfully. If you need help with anything HR related, Taryn is your go-to person!

On the weekend, you’ll find Taryn spending time with her family and friends – she’s always the first to arrive and the last to leave.

For more useful information, follow Taryn on LinkedIn.

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