Universal Music Group’s UK division provides a virtual GP benefit as part of its health and wellbeing strategy.
The organisation, which employs over 1,300 staff across its business entities in the UK, including Capital Records, Island Records, Virgin EMI and Abbey Road Studios, launched the virtual GP service in May 2015, making it available to all of its UK-based employees.
Since its launch, the virtual GP service has been taken up by 30% of employees. Staff can also extend the service to include family members.
Andrea Giacomazzi, compensation and benefits director at Universal Music Group, says: “From [Universal’s] perspective, the implementation [of a virtual GP] was not driven by wanting or looking for a reduction in costs, it was all to do with looking at achieving a healthier workforce. Long term, what a virtual GP could potentially mean is that [organisations] might see a reduction in employees’ time off for sickness or medical appointments. Early intervention is better than fixing of problems later, however, that was not our main reason for offering this benefit.”
There were three main reasons behind Universal Music Group’s decision to introduce a virtual GP service as one of its core benefits: its appeal to all employees regardless of age; the difficulty how difficult it can be to register or that can be involved in making an appointment with a surgery-based GP,; and the availability of immediate appointments for staff to talk to a qualified GP about any medical concerns they might have.
The virtual GP service is part Universal Music Group UK’s overall health and wellbeing strategy, which also offers all employees annual health screening, personalised lifestyle coaching, an employee assistance programme (EAP) and a subsidised gym.
The UK division of Universal Music Group is also looking at other ways of improving its employees’ wellbeing and is considering offering more personalised help, coaching and assistance.