Looking after the health and wellbeing of its 600 employees is a key focus for Jeremy Benn Associates, a firm of consulting civil engineers and scientists, focusing on flood risk management.
Charlotte Parker, HR manager, explains: “One of the benefits we provide our staff is group income protection [provided by] Canada Life. This covers them if they’re off sick long-term but it also provides them with a number of additional benefits to support their health and wellbeing.”
These additional benefits include one-to-one counselling, as well as a 24-hour helpline offering support on everyday issues such as health, legal and financial concerns. Employees can also access a second medical opinion service provided by Best Doctors. “These benefits provide valuable support to employees,” adds Parker. “To ensure they use them, it’s important that we get the message out to them whenever we can.”
This communication exercise has a number of different strands. As well as highlighting the benefits at interview, job offer and induction stages, Parker also works closely with Canada Life to promote the services that are available. “[It] visits a couple of times a year to find out if there are any issues and to put together a staff presentation,” she explains. “Our employees are based throughout the UK so we run this on Skype so everyone can listen in if they want.”
In addition, the organisation runs health and wellbeing initiatives for employees, which provide a further opportunity to promote these services. These have included a Time to Talk campaign earlier this year, with a Just Be Active one scheduled for the summer.
It is a strategy that is proving successful. “We recently received utilisation figures relating to the Best Doctors service, which showed that 20 people had used the service this year,” Parker explains. “This figure is much higher than I’d imagined. It’s really good to see that employees use and value these services.”