Barton’s blog: Wishing you all a very happy and healthy festive break!

This blog is a bit of a strange one; it’s my first as acting editor, having said a fond farewell to Kavitha Sivasubramaniam and awaiting the return of Debbie Lovewell-Tuck, but also the last editor’s blog of 2021.

Once again, workplaces this year have seen challenging times as we have all continued to adapt to pandemic-imposed lockdowns and restrictions; mass vaccination programmes; the end of the furlough scheme and the re-opening of workplaces; and then the subsequent Great Resignation and recently announced work-from-home guidelines.

An over-arching theme reverberated through organisations: that of employee wellbeing. Last year we saw employers quickly adapt to ensure staff had appropriate equipment to be able to work from home and also had access to wellbeing support such as employee assistance programmes and online fitness classes. My recent podcast interview with David Glennon from Trayport highlights a great example of this.

This year we saw the emergence of a new wellbeing theme, one that has been in place in some organisations for many years, but has arguably grown in popularity this year: menopause and fertility support. Each week we hear of at least one employer that has introduced a new policy or initiative to help its employees with these issues, reinforcing the importance that they are addressed in the workplace. For the Employee Benefits Awards 2022, we have introduced a new category in recognition of the growing importance of these initiatives: Best Benefits to support Menopause, Fertility or Pregnancy.

I would like to thank you all for your continued support over this last year and, while we wait to see just what shape our festive celebrations will be, I wish you all a happy and healthy break.

Tynan Barton
Acting editor
Tweet: @tynanbartonEB