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SMEs and start-ups may believe that they are too small to be able to offer an employee welfare programme. Many think that it will be cost prohibitive for a low number of employees. However, as this example shows, a valued and meaningful wellbeing programme is entirely possible for companies of all sizes.

Eastern Exhibition & Display (EED) may be a small company, but it has a big vision. Based in Edinburgh, EED offers creative and practical display solutions. The company has remained open in a Covid-secure manner throughout the pandemic and has been working to provide fast printed messaging and coronavirus signage for its customers to help get staff safely back into their workplace and to inform visitors.

The pandemic made working conditions complicated for EED, as with so many other companies, but with requirements for Covid signage growing, the staff worked extra hard to meet the demands. EED wanted to reward this effort and to ensure that employees were well cared for both physically and mentally throughout the strains of the pandemic, and beyond.

We helped EED implement a welfare programme for all 25 of its employees. They and their families now have access to 24/7 healthcare, which includes a virtual GP, second medical opinion, mental health support, online health check, nutritionist consultation, and fitness programme. They also have a confidential 24/7 employee assistance programme (EAP) and bereavement counselling/probate support.

This just goes to prove that a small company can offer the same sorts of benefits normally associated with larger corporate entities. SMEs and Start-ups so often have the forward-thinking nature, but it is about finding the right benefits to support this.

    Lisa Wilson is group risk and protection consultant for Towergate Health & Protection. She’s a technical expert in group risk benefits (group life assurance, income protection, critical illness), and has worked in the employee benefits industry since 2004 in a number of consulting and management roles.

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