Whitbread has launched an employee assistance programme (EAP) for more than 40,000 employees.
The organisation, which includes brands such as Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Costa Coffee and Premier Inn, initially trialled the scheme with 4,000 employees.
The EAP, which is provided by and charity Hospitality Action and is available across the catering and hospitality industry, is currently provided to 70,000 employees from 30 organisations.
Other employers that offer the scheme to staff include Calcot Manor, CH and Co, Ed’s Easy Diners, Red Carnation Hotels, Stockcross and Vineyard.
The EAP includes:
- Advice and help sheets.
- Web chat and telephone helpline, 24/7, 365 days a year.
- Personal counselling.
- Legal information and guidance.
- Financial planning and debt advice.
- Addiction support for alcohol, drugs, gambling or other addiction issues.
- Hardship grants.
- A confidential whistle-blowing service.
- Critical incident de-briefing.
Patrick Dempsey, managing director at Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, said: “At Whitbread, we carried out a trial of the scheme with 4,000 of our employees, across all our brands, and experienced a high level of employee usage with very positive feedback from management and staff regarding the service and advice given.
“I am delighted that we have now adopted the programme across the whole of the Whitbread estate, more than 40,000 employees, and we are extremely happy with the service provided.
“Businesses that subscribe to the scheme will also be supporting the hospitality industry’s charity enabling them to continue with their vital work.”
Richard Ball, executive chairman at Calcot Hotels, added: “We adopted the EAP for all three of our hotels, and outdoor catering business, some 400 employees.
“It provides our staff and managers with an invaluable support system for a wide range of challenging personal issues, many of which require more expertise than we can rightly expect our managers and HR team to have.
“It also goes some way to showing proper duty of care in these very difficult areas that are never very far below the surface for many people in our industry.”
Penny Moore, chief executive of Hospitality Action, said: “Personal issues and problems can have a major impact on the way people work, and this can potentially become a significant business cost, due to a decrease in productivity and an unbalanced working environment.
“Our experience shows that many small problems if ‘nipped in the bud’ can be prevented from escalating, and this is exactly what our EAP has been designed to address.
“We already have some fantastic organisations on board with the scheme, and I look forward to seeing new signatories joining up in the coming weeks and months.”