Thorntons launches EAP to combat ills

Thorntons has brought in an employee assistance programme (EAP) which will help staff that experience shop crime or store closures. The chocolate maker has closed 11 stores over the last year and hopes the EAP will lend a sympathetic ear to workers coping with relocation.

Jo Attenborough, HR manager, said: "Part of our strategy within retail is looking at the profitability of our stores and that does mean that there were a few that are either closed or re-sited. If they were closed then our primary concern is trying to relocate the people. "The helpline will not only give them emotional support but advice on what the options are." She added that the EAP will provide counselling for workers who become victims of crime. "It’ll invariably be something like a till snatch or an aggressive customer; staff can lose their confidence quite easily through an incident like that and it’s about helping them to rebuild their confidence and supporting them through the situation."

The changes are part of a benefits spring clean for Thorntons, which has also introduced a benefits package through Personal Group that includes childcare vouchers, a home computing scheme, financial advice and corporate gym membership Attenborough said that because of the salary sacrifice benefits such as childcare vouchers and the home computing scheme, Thorntons was able to keep the scheme cost neutral.