The wellbeing of our team is our ongoing priority. With the introduction of COVIDCare we have taken a holistic approach, considering the physical, mental, financial, social and community aspects of wellbeing.
We have engaged specialist businesses in these areas, as well as our own in-house expertise to create a comprehensive support program for our teams.
Supporting our team's financial wellbeing
We have taken both a supportive and proactive approach to financial support during COVID-19:
- Providing assistance during financial hardship
- Preventing our team from falling into financial hardship
These measures also support team members staying home if unwell or awaiting test results for symptoms.
Supporting team members
Since March we have additional COVID-19 support leave to ensure our permanent and casual teams are paid for any missed shifts due to COVID-19 impacts (up to 2 weeks which they can access multiple times).
We have also introduced a COVIDCare Coordinator role to support team members and line managers across the group in providing care management and welfare discussions with our team and any of our team who test positive for COVID-19.
Woolworths Group has provided team members with additional paid special leave in places where the Government has implemented a Stage 4 Lockdown.
Launch of the Money Brilliant app
In August 2020 we gave team members access to ‘Money Brilliant’. Available via app or the desktop site, this program provides team members with a handy tool to assist with planning and budgeting with the intent to minimise the risk of our team members falling into financial hardship during these challenging times. ‘Money Brilliant’ supplements our existing Financial Wellbeing offerings
Deepened our partnership with Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand
In order to support our team even further financially we expanded our partnership with Good Shepherd to include all Woolworths Group team members regardless of employment status and tenure - this included allowing family members who are additional Plus cardholders to access the service.
We increased the no interest loan amount up to $3k, and increased loan repayments up to 24 months and deferral payments up to 6 months.
We increased our team members’ awareness of the service with posters and flyers displayed and distributed throughout the Group.
The changes we made coupled with the heightened awareness resulted in 120% increase in team member contacts
Supporting our team's mental wellbeing
During stressful times, mental wellbeing becomes even more important. We have grown our mental health framework by expanding our existing partnerships with support providers and accelerated our Mental Health Awareness training across our group.
Unmind is a proactive and preventative tool to help our team be their best. It is available free to Woolworths Group team members as an app or on a desktop computer at work or home.
Unmind is 100% confidential and provides tools such as bitesize audio on topics like sleep and relaxation, to learning programs on mindfulness, nutrition, mood, relationships and much more.
I am here
I am here is a program designed to help our team look out for themselves and each other.
We want everyone to know that it’s ok not to feel ok, and that it’s absolutely ok to ask for help. The objective is to increase the confidence and courage of all our team members, so if someone is not feeling ok, we all know what to do to help.
We have also given all our team access to a 20-minute online course to help them understand the signs to look out for and how to help their fellow team members, friends or family. To date we have had over 25,000 team members complete the course.
We have also given our team the option to complete the 2-hour self-paced course to increase the skills, courage and confidence they need to help people who may not be feeling ok.
We have also provided our team with free access to confidential and independent counselling through ASSIST (Benestar) for themselves and their family.
Supporting our team's physical wellbeing
In addition to the many physical safety measures initiated in our stores, centres and support offices, we have supported our team’s physical wellbeing in other ways too.
Zero tolerance to abuse
We have provided team training and put in place clear messaging around abuse to support a safe work and shopping environment in our stores.
We offered free vaccinations to all team members across Australia at the start of the influenza season.
Family violence support policy
As part of this policy, permanent full-time team members are entitled to five days paid sick leave and five day unpaid sick leave per year if they are in a family violence situation and we also work with each individual to identify other support that would help, including moving stores.
Free food and coffee for team
In our Metro branded stores we offered teams free food and coffee when they were working. We have reinstated this in Victorian stores through their Stage 4 lockdown.