Health and wellbeing

At Vicinity, our vision is to empower our team to improve their wellbeing through supporting individual wellbeing needs and helping them to make positive choices about their health. 

Vicinity’s Wellbeing program is focused on five key areas which have been identified as important to a person’s overall health and wellbeing: mental health; overall health; nutrition; financial health and physical activity.

To deliver a personalised user experience for our team members, Vicinity has a significant program of initiatives and resources to inspire meaningful and measurable change. Free annual skin checks, flu vaccinations, discounted gym memberships and corporate massages are just some of the benefits offered to team members.

Our wellbeing program includes:

  • Financial advice reimbursements to encourage team members to participate in personalised financial planning sessions; 
  • Financial health related sessions provided by our default superannuation fund (AMP);
  • Salary continuance insurance and Death & TPD insurance provided to all eligible team members and paid for by Vicinity;
  • Partnership with BUPA, which in addition to health insurance discounts provides a range of member benefits;
  • National Dental Corporate Care Program;
  • Bespoke mental health program;
  • Onsite coach program;
  • Headspace Meditation app; and
  • Regular onsite presence of wellbeing and benefit providers at our corporate offices to promote their offering and assist team members.

 

The 'Marketplace' at Vicinity National Office (VIC) 

Other company benefits also support our wellbeing program, such as flexible working arrangements and a variety of leave options to help employees balance personal and professional responsibilities. These include formal and informal flexible working arrangements, paid parental leave, personal or carers leave, study leave, cultural leave, volunteer leave and a paid day off for team members on their birthday.

Vicinity also offers a confidential employee assistance program free of charge to all employees and their immediate families.

See our FY20 Performance Pack to view Vicinity’s absentee rate.

Case study: Leading through COVID-19

Through the challenges of FY20, including extensive bushfires along Australia’s east coast and the COVID-19 pandemic, more than ever, the health, safety and wellbeing of our people, retailers, consumers and their communities remained our highest priority.

The resilience of our people has been instrumental as we faced the challenges brought on by COVID-19. The dedication of the team and their commitment to our business has meant we have been able to respond quickly, adapting to new and ever-changing conditions and enabling our centres to continue to operate and play their essential role in our communities.

As COVID-19 began to impact the economy and our business, we introduced several people-related measures to reduce cost. Implementing these measures were made in the long-term interest of the business and with careful consideration of the outcomes.

Measures to reduce costs included:

  • 20 per cent pay cut of both Directors’ fees and Executive Committee salaries for the three months to 30 June 2020,
  • Cancelling the FY20 Short Term Incentive award, and
  • Temporary workforce reductions through full or partial stand-downs.

During times of uncertainty, we understand managing finances becomes particularly important, but can also be difficult and sometimes stressful to work through. We wanted all team members to know, that no matter what the circumstances, they are not alone and support is available.

Throughout the stand-down period, team members have had a range of options available to support them with minimising financial impacts, including access to accrued annual and long service leave at full or half pay or, utilising up to four weeks’ annual leave in advance. In addition, our benefits program offers team members a contribution towards professional financial advice. A Financial Hardship Committee was established in April 2020 to review specific team member situations to determine whether additional support may be available to them.

We have maintained an open dialogue and transparent process with our people as we have responded to the challenges and uncertainty of COVID-19, this included increasing our frequency and channels of communication. We introduced COVID-19 ‘pulse check’ surveys to understand team member experience and sentiment.  These surveys provided real-time data, feedback and insights that enabled us to respond to and adapt leadership, communication and decision making to deliver a people centric approach to the pandemic.

Some examples include:

  • Weekly town halls and daily ‘WRAP’ emails for team members to connect with Executive Committee and Senior Leaders, and stay up to date with initiatives across the Vicinity;
  • Providing additional support for our team members to adapt to remote working;
  • Voluntary return to office locations in states where restrictions were lifted and ensuring compliance with COVID-safe guidelines;
  • Enabling flexibility for all our team members to manage work and caring responsibilities;
  • Additional focus on mental, physical and financial wellbeing; and
  • Launching our Domestic Violence Guidelines and Mental Health Guidelines.

Data from the COVID-19 surveys (conducted during FY20) suggest Vicinity has successfully navigated and led through the pandemic, with up to 83 per cent of respondents indicating they trust Vicinity’s approach to COVID-19, up to 92 per cent of respondents indicating the Executive Team and Senior Leaders have demonstrated Health and Wellbeing is important at this time, and up to 92 per cent having overall confidence in Vicinity’s approach to the pandemic.