Hospitality Action has officially unveiled its Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), which is designed to support the three million people working across the catering and hospitality industry in the UK by providing expert help and assistance to those in need.
The scheme – which has been gradually rolling out since April 2013 – has already attracted some of the biggest names in the industry. Whitbread PLC is the latest signatory, joining Red Carnation Hotels, CH & Co, Ed’s Easy Diners, Calcot Manor and the Vineyard at Stockcross, amongst others. More than 70,000 employees from 30 companies are now able to access specialist and confidential advice 24/7, 365 days a year. In the first 10 months of the programme, more than 1500 people in the hospitality trade have benefited from the EAP’s specialist advice, expertise and support.
The EAP service is a proactive, fully supported, totally confidential scheme which includes:
- Advice and help sheets
- Web chat and telephone help line, 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 whistleblowing service
- Critical incident de-briefing
“Having gathered such good support over the past 10 months, I am delighted to be able to officially showcase our EAP to the wider industry,” says Penny Moore, chief executive at Hospitality Action. “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 companies on board with the scheme, and I look forward to seeing new signatories joining up in the coming weeks and months.”
William Baxter CBE, chair of board of trustees at Hospitality Action, adds: “The employee assistance programme was launched to ensure that Hospitality Action helps as many as possible of the three million people who work in hospitality who may need our support. It is a practical and cost-effective way for employers to help their employees in times of personal crisis, whatever the cause. I would urge everyone to take up this initiative.”
Hospitality Action’s EAP has garnered support from key individuals in the industry, including three Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal, who can be seen demonstrating his passion for the scheme in this Hospitality Action video.
Patrick Dempsey OBE, MD at Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, says: “Hospitality Action’s EAP has been developed by hospitality industry experts to suit the needs of employees within our demanding industry.
“At Whitbread we carried out a trial of the scheme with 4000 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 they provide. Businesses who 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, adds: “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.”
Readers interested in finding out more information about how the EAP can support their business should contact Camilla Woods directly.