HORSE Racing Ireland (HRI) was recently awarded the Ibec KeepWell Mark, an evidence-based accreditation that puts the wellbeing of employees at the forefront of company policy.

The KeepWell Mark focuses on key areas of workplace wellbeing ranging from leadership, mental health and absence management to physical activity and healthy eating, with a framework of standards and tools to benchmark current performance.

HRI embarked on its journey back in 2020 and in May 2021 launched the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).

EAP is a confidential programme available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, that provides all employees and their families with immediate help and support in managing whatever work or personal issues they may be facing.

It also offers a wellbeing series which delivers high-quality, expert-led health and wellbeing events throughout the year. This followed with the expansion of the Industry Assistance Programme (IAP) for the racing industry, funded through HRI’s Industry Education and Training Department, equuip.

Other initiatives included the launch of a new Health, Safety and Well-being Guide for HRI and the industry and workplace talks to mark some international awareness campaigns such as World Menopause Awareness Day, International Men’s Day, International Day of Persons with Disabilities and Mental Health Awareness Month.

The accreditation process was driven by a team of employees from across each sector of HRI with strong support from senior management.

The KeepWell Mark is awarded by Ibec under licence from the Workplace Wellbeing Charter and the accreditation is valid for two years, subject to a mandatory mid-term review after one year.

Carol Nolan, Director of People and Equuip at HRI, commented: “We are delighted to receive the Ibec KeepWell Mark which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to promoting and embedding a wellbeing ethos at HRI, and allows us to showcase the positive initiatives which we have implemented in support of employee wellbeing, while also offering the opportunity for us to understand what we could do differently or if there are gaps in our activity.

“Our aim is to create an environment that is supportive and inclusive, and positively impacts the wellbeing of all our employees.”