We engage with and value our colleagues as whole people, not simply as employees.

This is reflected in our approach to reward and benefits, where we recognise the importance of work-life balance and in our approach to wellbeing.

Our colleagues represent a very broad spectrum – from specialist veterinary surgeons to client care advisors, from experts in marine and freshwater biology to store colleagues – all are different and all are uniquely talented. Recognising this diversity, we structure our approach to wellbeing in four dimensions – physical, mental, financial and nutritional.

Recognising the pressures on people working in the veterinary profession we prioritise the wellbeing of our veterinary colleagues, with a focus on mental health awareness. We have partnered with the Retail Trust and Port of Call to offer services for colleagues who need support, advice or guidance in times of difficulty. Port of Call specifically support people affected by addiction. We provide ‘Mind Matters’ mental health awareness training with full day courses available for our practice colleagues to attend. The course was designed with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to help individuals understand their own mental health and to identify and manage mental health in the workplace.

In our Retail business we will also focus on mental health and wellbeing. Managers have asked for support in dealing with colleagues’ mental health challenges to enable us to better support those colleagues. We want to create a culture where mental health is not a subject that people shy away from. We have partnered with MIND and have signed their pledge ‘Time to Change’ to help us educate managers so we can offer the right support at the right time and experiences can be safely shared.

Occupational Health Advisors have been appointed to help with appropriate support, guidance and intervention for our colleagues with health concerns, including mental health.