Workforce Wellbeing Package

COVID-19 Employee Assistance Programme Support

Employment Assistance Programme (EAP) services for the Auckland regional workforce were made available for three months as part of the COVID-19 Workforce Wellbeing Package, announced in Budget 2020.

The extra support recognised the significant role of this workforce during the COVID-19 resurgence in August 2020. This service closed on 3 February. Please note that any appointments and workshops arranged before this date will still be recognised and delivered.

The Ministry is closely monitoring the situation in Auckland that developed in February 2021, and is preparing plans for further EAP provision if this is necessary.

The Wellbeing Package has also set aside a further $2m for counselling and support services for any further COVID-19 resurgence. This would be made available for any location or region that moves into Alert Level 3 or higher.


What is the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)?

EAP is an employment-based programme that people can access to help them deal with personal and/or work-related problems.  It offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counselling, referrals, and follow-up services. EAP is commonly offered by employers given their responsibilities to support health and safety or wellness of their employees under the Health and Safety in Employment Act.

Are the counselling sessions confidential?

All communications and discussions with EAP are strictly confidential for the one-to-one counselling sessions. No identifiable details of individuals that contact EAP Services will be shared with the Ministry or the early learning service, school or kura.

What other COVID-19 wellbeing support and resources are already available for the education workforce to access?

As the Government’s lead agency, the Ministry of Health has an extensive range of specific COVID-19 information and tools to support wellbeing and hauora. Accessed through their website, this includes links and details of support organisations, self-help tools and resources, as well as advice for at-risk groups.

COVID-19: Mental health and wellbeing resources(external link)

How would this support differ from what is being offered by ECE providers, kura and schools?

As the responsibility to offer services such as Employee Assistance Counselling Programmes (EACP) is with employers (ECE providers, schools and kura), EAP’s provision is intended to provide short-term supplementary services targeted to any regional workforce that faces a COVID-19 resurgence.

The services available will offer focus on wellbeing topics that may have arisen from experiencing Alert Level 3 conditions.

When will the wellbeing online hub be available and what support will it offer?

Work is now well underway to have the hub available during term 1 2021.

It will offer a comprehensive range of resources including advice, information and support including education sector specific content, and opportunities for peer to peer support.  

Further information

Your local Ministry office should be your first point of contact if you have questions or if you would like more information.

Local Ministry offices

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