‘Wellbeing Day’ | Employees given extra day off amid COVID-19

Employees given extra day off amid COVID-19

Insurance firm Aviva is giving all of its 16,000 UK staff members an extra day off this year.

This ‘Wellbeing Day’ is designed specifically to help colleagues with their wellbeing amid the coronavirus crisis.

Danny Harmer, Chief People Officer at Aviva, said that colleagues had worked hard to support customers throughout the pandemic and that they wanted to thank them.

“Our people have worked incredibly hard to support our customers throughout what has been a really difficult time for everyone.

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“We want to make this winter a little bit brighter for them and say thank you. So, this is an opportunity for colleagues to take a day for themselves,” Aviva’s CPO added.

The day off is in addition to holiday leave available for employees and colleagues can spend this extra day however they wish – whether this is kicking back on the sofa or pursuing hobbies.

Supporting staff

This ‘Wellbeing Day’ is part of a range of available support that is sought to help Aviva employees, particularly in the winter months.

For example, UK staff have access to support tools to help with homeworking, including a 24/7 Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) and mental and wellbeing support. Flexible working is available to all staff.

In December, UK employees received a £100 voucher as a ‘thank you’ for their continued hard work throughout the pandemic.

Elsewhere, the firm offers 35 hours paid leave per year for UK workers to help manage their caring responsibilities.

Harmer explained: “When our people are at their best, our business is at its best for our customers.

“Rest is an important part of wellbeing and it’s vital that organisations create space for people to recharge their batteries wherever possible,” Harmer added.

Throughout the coronavirus crisis, supporting employee wellbeing has been high up on the agenda for the HR function.

Dr Nick Taylor, CEO and Co-Founder at Unmind, previously told HR Grapevine, that as with the previous two lockdowns, employers and HR play a role in creating a sense of routine and ensuring that staff maintain a healthy work-life balance to prevent burnout.

Yet, Aviva UK is not the only employer that has gifted staff extra time off to boost wellbeing throughout the coronavirus crisis.

Indeed’s annual leave freebie to combat WFH stress

In fact, last year, the job site Indeed gave 10,000 staff members an additional six days of paid annual leave.

Staff were rewarded with an extra paid day of annual leave for each month worked until November 2020.

At the time, Helen Durkin, Employer Brand Programme Manager at Indeed, said that the pandemic was affecting employees individually and it was clear that staff members were struggling.

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“At Indeed, we felt it was important that our employees could take a moment to focus on their personal lives. While our benefits exist to attract, engage and retain talent, they also play an important role in allowing us to rest and recharge.

“There are huge benefits to taking time off from improved physical and mental health to feeling more energised and as a result being more productive,” Durkin added.

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Comments (1)

  • Lou Sumner
    Lou Sumner
    Thu, 21 Jan 2021 12:56pm GMT
    Well-being days are wonderful idea in general, and a great response from companies to current circumstances. I work for Sage who have just implemented a similar scheme, though we are getting a whopping three days to take before the summer, purely for well-being purposes. Love life at #sage

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