Royal Mail offers employees going through a separation and family breakdown access to legal and emotional support. The Dialogue First pilot initiative, which launched in September 2015, provides staff with a free 30-minute legal consultation with the aim of pursuing lawyer-supported mediation where appropriate.
The scheme is open to all staff and can be accessed via Royal Mail’s employee assistance programme (EAP), provided by OH Assist, which enables employees to be signposted to additional support services where needed.
Royal Mail introduced the scheme with the aim of supporting the mental wellbeing of its 143,000-strong workforce. Dr Shaun Davis, group director of safety, health, wellbeing and sustainability at Royal Mail Group, says: “It was an extension of the work that we do to promote our employee assistance programme and mental health, because one of the big issues around relationship breakdown is mental health.”
Royal Mail embedded the scheme into its EAP and highlighted it to staffthrough its internal newsletter, Courier. While the personal nature of the issue makes it more difficult to gauge the impact the scheme has had, Davis has received positive feedback about the fact that such a service is available to staff.
“It’s still early days for us and it would be difficult to measure success because it’s [a subject that] is very private to people, but this is one of those areas where you know this is the right thing to do, you know it’s going to be beneficial to people,” says Davis. “It’s one of those things you have to do without necessarily getting too caught up on the return on investment aspect, because morally it’s the right thing to do.”