Concerns for the health and financial well-being of its employees prompted Salford City Council to research health care plans that would be both affordable and beneficial to staff.
'I want to encourage the employees of this city to take their health seriously and to do everything they can to take preventative measures in relation to their own and their family's health. This relationship with the Hospital Contributory Scheme will help this take place,' says Eddie Sheehy, lead member for personnel and performance management at Salford City Council.
'I am, therefore, very happy to support this initiative and I look forward to seeing what real benefits it can bring to the workforce of this city and their families.'
Peter Green, chief executive of the Hospital Contributory Scheme applauds Salford City Council for its attitude towards employees: 'There was a time when work was work and life outside was totally separate. But with the stresses and strains of everyday life now recognised as having a real impact on an individual's health and finances, organisations must look to address issues that affect every aspect of the lives of their staff. I hope that the council's emphatic approach will encourage other local authorities and businesses to act in the same way.'
Staff taking up the scheme will be offered cover from £1 per week. Benefits include money to help cover dental and optical charges, tax-free cash sums for overnight hospital stays, help towards the cost of treatments such as physiotherapy and osteopathy, and even include provision for dependent children up to the age of 16.
Besides being 'employee aware' Salford City Council has also undertaken an environmentally friendly stance by promoting the scheme electronically through its intranet and computerised bulletin board so not to use printed leaflets and thereby unnecessarily waste paper.