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When it’s time for your business to sort its budget, the most important considerations that need to be made relate to employee support and assistance.

The end of the financial year isn’t only a busy time for Australians in their personal lives, but also for those working in finance departments. It’s the time when businesses are finalising the year’s books and completing tax returns, but it’s also a time for thinking ahead to the next financial year with budgets. Some of the most important budget items are those that support the organisation’s most valuable asset - its employees.

Employee Support Makes Good Business Sense

Correct business budgeting delivers the best return on investment. A dollar spent on employee support can yield a return on investment of $3 to $5 (2016 ROI White Paper, Employee Health, Workplace Health Association of Australia). Few other items in the company’s budget will have the same level of return.

Types of Employee Benefits

Offering benefits to your employees has a number of advantages. Employees are less likely to look for a new job if they feel their employer cares about their welfare and is willing to spend time and money to protect it. Happier employees are also more productive. Keeping employees safe means fewer worker’s compensation claims and sick leave days, and healthier workers are likely to have more energy and be more productive.

Employee Assistance Program

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) gives workers and their families access to free, confidential and professional support, whether it’s for work or personal issues. Counselling can help improve the mental health, resilience and wellbeing of workers. With 24/7 access to high quality psychological services, employees are able to maintain their health and wellbeing with an EAP.

Workplace and Home Assessments

Musculoskeletal injuries and pain can be avoided when the workstation is set up to best suit the user. Through a Physical Workplace Assessment, an occupational therapist can assist with an employee’s symptom resolution through some modification to work practices and the work environment.

With more people working from home, staff may need a Home Office Ergonomic Assessment to assess their individual task requirements, home office equipment and to evaluate the hazards and risks.

Psychological Health Assessments

Psychological health is just as important as physical health. In fact, an employee with a psychological worker’s compensation claim will on average need longer to recover than an employee with a physical injury. A psychological health assessment may reveal the need for a strategy to manage situations that impact a worker's psychological health such as bullying.


Staff training is available for a range of areas, however many organisations don’t consider the importance of safety training for staff in perceived low-risk occupations such as office work. Ergonomic training can teach employees to adjust equipment, or their work, to create a better match and reduce the risk of injuries that are common to office workers.

Manager Assistance

Many organisations expect their managers to deal with a broad range of staff-related issues without any training or previous experience. A Manager Assistance Program can give a manager and supervisors the confidence to deal with issues such as workload, managing employee’s difficult behaviour, performance and fitness for work. At Altius Group, the Manager Assistance Program is part of our EAP, but for other providers, it may be a separate item that must be budgeted for.

Wellbeing Programs

Budgeting for wellbeing programs is another form of investing in the organisation’s bottom line. Investing in employee wellbeing can create happier and more engaged employees who are likely to be more productive as a result. Absenteeism and presenteeism are also reduced.

Future Forecasting

Twelve months can be a long time in organisations that may experience rapid growth or decline during the year, while other organisations are stable year after year. To assist with forecasting the organisation’s budgeting requirements, it’s important to consider the long and short term objectives in the HR strategy and identify the requirements of the next year. To ensure the budget data is as accurate as possible consider the following factors:

  • Number of employees needed 
  • Any increases in costs
  • Projected turnover 
  • Changes in policy or strategy
  • New programs or benefits

Learn more about our Employee Assistance Program and Workplace Wellbeing Programs to decide which one is best for your organisation and employees. For any additional information, please call 1800 258 487 or contact us online.

Please note that Altius Group are not financial advisors, therefore the information in this article is intended to act as general and not to be taken as financial advice.