Arrow pointing right
Back to articles

Employee assistance programme (EAP) cost per employee

EAPs are inexpensive, but only because very few employees ever use them

In this article
How much should proper therapy cost?How much do EAPs cost?Why is EAP usage so low? Mental health support that actually gets used

Spill costs less per therapy session than an EAP, because 10x more people use it.

Check our prices


  • The cost of an EAP in the UK varies based on things like the level of support your employees need, as well as your company's industry and size.
  • EAP prices typically range from 40p to £1.25 per employee, per month.
  • While EAPs seem cost-effective, their low usage raises questions about their value, as only a fraction of employees needing mental health support actually engage with the service.
  • A solution that solely focuses on providing high quality therapy might offer more effective support for mental health needs.

How much does an employee assistance programme (EAP) cost in the UK?

The cost of an employee assistance programme depends on the level of support you're looking for, the industry you're in, and the size of your company. So before choosing an EAP and looking at how much an EAP typically costs, it's important to understand the number of employees who typically need to use the service. It's estimated that 1 in 4 adults in the UK and the USA will experience a mental health problem this year. That’s 25% of your employees who are likely to struggle.

An inforgraphic showing that 1 in 4 adults in the UK and USA will experience mental health as a problem this year, meaning 25% of your employees are likely to struggle with their mental health.
The number of employees who will need to use an EAP this year

We’re going to focus on that 25% to explore the average cost of an EAP, but if we imagine mental health on a big spectrum between being in crisis and absolutely thriving, around 55% of your team will actually find themselves teetering on the mid-low end (read: stressed and tired) at any one time.

Therapy is proven to be an effective solution for people actively experiencing mental health problems. Your team can access online resources and a limited number of counselling and therapy sessions through most EAPs, which usually charge your business per employee, per month, over a contract period of 1-3 years. EAPs undoubtedly bring lots of benefits, but do the sums add up? Let’s see.

How much should proper therapy cost, per employee?

Let’s take a company with 100 employees. We’ll call them Piet Depsi. 

🧠 25 of those employees will need mental health support this year. 

🗓 If each of those people completed a course of treatment (6 sessions), that would total 150 therapy sessions over the year. 

💰 Assuming each therapist is paid fairly for their time and experience, a reasonable price per therapy session is £70.

👉 So £70 x 150 sessions / 100 employees / 12 months = a total cost of £8.75 per employee, per month. 

Submit document logo

Download our free EAP evaluation checklist

Make sure you're asking the right questions when buying an EAP (or weighing up the one you already have)

EAP pricing models

There are several pricing models for EAPs depending on the services included, budget, and the size of the company. The three most popular employee assistance programme pricing models are:

  • Cost per use: this pricing model includes services like telephone support and wellbeing resources for a flat monthly fee, with an option for additional services such as in-person therapy to be added on at an extra charge.

  • Cost per call: this pricing model covers the basic service provision for the EAP platform at a fixed cost, with an additional charge for every call an employee makes to the EAP.

  • Cost per employee: This model is the most popular, providing a fixed cost per employee based on their expected EAP service use throughout the year.

Let's look at the most popular EAP pricing model in a little more detail...

How much do EAPs cost, per employee? 

The price of an EAP is typically set between 40p and £1.25 per employee, per month, depending on the size of your business. That might sound like music to your Finance team’s ears, but it’s a fraction of the money needed to pay for necessary treatment. So, how do they do it? 

Quite simply, the proportion of workers actually interacting with their EAP is very low – and it’s not in an EAP’s interests to boost uptake, either. 

Between 5.4% and 10.4% of employees will typically interact with their EAP in a year. That’s well below the total number of people who need support. And there’s a big difference between “interacting” with an EAP by reading an online resource or calling the helpline, and actually being triaged into therapy sessions. 

Only as few as 5.4% of employees will use their company's EAP in a given year

One study into EAPs in the US cites ‘low’ clinical EAP usage between 1 and 3%, and ‘high’ clinical EAP usage between 6 and 8%. We think that’s a good estimate of the number of people actually accessing any therapy through their EAP. It doesn’t mean they’ve necessarily finished a course of treatment, mind. The same study says that on average people complete just 4 sessions out of 8.

So, EAPs can (and do) build low usage into their pricing models. Let’s go back to Piet Depsi.

👉 £70 a session x 3 employees x completing 4 sessions = £840 annually 

👉 Divide that by 100 employees and 12 months = 70p per employee, per month

If we remember that 25% of people will struggle with their mental health in a year, that’s 22 people in Piet Depsi’s team that need therapy to manage poor mental health who aren’t being supported by their EAP. Not to mention anyone that could use therapy to proactively maintain their mental wellbeing who’s also missing out. 

Spill's proactive mental health care means you'll never have to worry about an employee slipping through the cracks again.

See how Spill works

Why is EAP usage so low?

Traditionally, EAPs put several barriers in place before an employee can talk to a(n expensive) qualified therapist. And bearing in mind lots of people put off seeking help until they really feel quite unwell, any delay can feel like a big mental setback.

An infographic highlighting the main barriers to getting support from an EAP.
Why is EAP usage so low? Barbara's experience highlights the main barriers to getting help

If the low, low price of an EAP is starting to lose its shine, we hear you. 

Offer your team mental health support they’ll actually use

At Spill, we believe that (waaay) more than 5% of people should benefit from mental health support. That's why we've made it super simple for any employee to access clinically effective corporate therapy in just a few clicks.

💡 Typically, Spill will be used by 50% of your team – that’s ten times more employees than an EAP

But don't just take our word for it, hear it from the happy customers themselves 👇

A five-star Trustpilot review for Spill saying "Easy to schedule my appointment, my therapist has been very helpful, and very knowledgeable."
A five-star Truspilot review for Spill saying "Great app, instant access, activities plus human access at the touch of a button, highly recommend."
A five-start Trustpilot review for Spill saying "Spill is so easy to use and such a great and valuable mental health resource!"

See how much Spill’s proactive mental health support would cost your business. (Full disclosure: it’ll be more than the 70p an EAP might cost, but still less than a monthly social at the pub.)

What is a free EAP?
Does Spill cost more than a traditional EAP?
Submit document logo

Get our free EAP evaluation checklist

Calculate the cost and benefit of using an EAP

Spill is typically used by 50% of employees in a year. That means up to 10 times as many people get support vs. an EAP.

See how Spill stacks up against EAPs