Prezzo adds new employee assistance programme to HR menu

When Prezzo made the decision to invest in a new employee assistance programme from BHSF at the beginning of 2020, little did the well-known Italian dining brand predict how timely the support would be.

Prezzo has 180 restaurants on the high street, with a team of 3,300 people based in front of house and back of house roles, at a support centre in London and out in the field.

The new partnership with BHSF is shaped around a personalised, on-demand service that gives Prezzo employees free access to a 24/7 GP helpline, online consultations, electronic prescriptions, and health information services.

Hayley Moosa, Head of HR at Prezzo explains why the package was the right ingredient: 

“As a restaurant brand we’re all about bringing people together, helping them spend quality time with those who matter to them. And as an employer, what matters to us is that our team members never feel alone. BHSF was able to provide a free, confidential, independent helpline for our team, which was exactly what we were looking for.”

The often diverse and transient nature of those working in the hospitality sector was a key driver behind investing in our programme, which connects employees to emotional, financial and legal support quickly and easily.

“Just because a colleague might not want to carve out a long-term career in the sector, doesn’t mean they matter any less. Such working patterns often mean that employees and their worries can be ‘lost’ from role to role. The volatility that UK hospitality has faced this year has further compounded stresses. The impact on colleagues has been intense in a variety of ways; physical, financial and mental. Having such a robust programme of support and benefits in place has been key to helping our teams today, but it will also be vital for our future recruitment and retention needs.”

Financial worries have been a common worry for many Prezzo employees, faced with short term concerns over eligibility for furlough, isolation as a result of shielding, through to long term fears for job security. With the BHSF Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), they have had access to a 24/7 telephone counselling helpline so they could speak in confidence to an accredited counsellor for advice.

Prezzo employees have free access to the BHSF EAP helpline, a retail discounts platform plus a wellbeing platform, all alongside their existing Prezzo Perks range of rewards and incentives.

Chris Snookes – Head of Commercial Partnerships at BHSF comments: “Employee wellbeing isn’t just limited to the workplace. Poor mental health is often the result of overwhelming personal issues, which can then impact on an employee’s ability to cope and their performance both in and outside of work. Life can prove a struggle at any point in time but, naturally, there have been a lot of people feeling anxious or depressed about the current health crisis.

“We’re proud that we’ve been able to make a difference to Prezzo employees providing everything from a friendly, impartial ear, to access to specialist guidance. It has been a difficult year for many workplaces, but there’s no denying that UK hospitality has faced an especially tough shift in 2020.”

Prezzo was also particularly attracted to the fact that BHSF is a not-for-profit organisation. Moosa adds: “This ethical cycle sits so comfortably with our own values, knowing that everything is reinvested back in to supporting employees. I strongly believe that employee wellbeing cannot be a tick box exercise – it has to be about embedding the provision right across a workplace culture. That it has been especially essential this year is priceless, but for me, the real value is going to be in how we use it long-term, so that it becomes part of our main menu; not a seasonal side or a promotional add-on.”