Big industry names sign up to charity’s specialist scheme, officially launched today

Hospitality Action has today officially unveiled its Employee Assistance Programme, designed to support the 3m people working across the catering and hospitality industry in the UK by providing expert help and assistance to those in crisis or need.

The scheme, which has been gradually rolling out since April 2013, has already attracted some of the biggest names in the industry, with Whitbread PLC the latest signatory, seeing the owner of Costa Coffee and Premier Inn join the likes of 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 1,500 hospitality people have benefited from the EAP’s specialist advice, expertise and support.

As the industry benevolent charity for more than 175 years, Hospitality Action is uniquely placed to both understand and help resolve the issues that affect our people, both at work and in their personal lives.

The EAP service is a proactive, fully supported, totally confidential scheme that includes:

Penny Moore, chief executive, Hospitality Action, says: “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. 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, Hospitality Action, says: “The employee assistance programme was launched to ensure that Hospitality Action helps as many as possible of the 3 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.”

One big supporter of the EAP is three Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal, who can be seen demonstrating his passion for the scheme in this Hospitality Action video.

Patrick Dempsey OBE, Managing Director, 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 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 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.”

And finally, Richard Ball, Executive Chairman, Calcot Hotels, says: “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.”

If you would like to find out more about how the EAP could support your people and enhance systems already in the workplace by adding independent expert assistance and advice when it is needed, please contact Camilla Woods