EXCLUSIVE: Sainsbury’s introduces employee assistance programme

Sainsbury’s has coupled the introduction of an employee assistance programme (EAP) with the delivery of its annual total reward statement (TRS) to communicate the new benefit to its 150,000 staff.

The paper-based statements included a full booklet about the EAP and its provider, Retail Trust, when they were delivered to staff in November. Helen Paxton, head of reward and people systems at Sainsbury’s, said: “It is about us being a great place to work and making sure our employees feel supported.”

The TRS and EAP roll-out was also communicated through posters and at Sainsbury’s monthly briefings. Paxton added: “Line managers have run briefings to issue TRS and talk about the new benefit.”

The EAP was trialled with the retailer’s 5,000 logistics staff in June. The reward statements detail pay, benefits and the savings made using the employee discount, which is 10% for all staff. The 2011 statements were issued to line managers a week before other staff, allowing them to raise any queries.

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