Supermarket Introduces Free Virtual GP Service In Ireland

Virtual GP

Tesco Ireland has announced introducing a free virtual GP service for its colleagues and enhancements to some existing benefits.

As part of an enhanced well-being services package, Tesco will introduce a free virtual GP service for over 13,000 Tesco colleagues, with additional discounted rates for colleagues’ family members.

Virtual GP services are becoming increasingly popular in Ireland, allowing people needing healthcare to access online doctor appointments quickly and easily from the comfort of their homes. Through Tesco’s new benefit, colleagues who consult with the online doctor can also have a private prescription issued by the GP and sent to their chosen pharmacy.

In addition to the free virtual GP benefit, Tesco provides colleagues and same-household family members with additional well-being services through a relaunched 24/7 365-day Employee Assistance Programme.

This includes access to immediate ‘at the moment support’, confidential telephone counselling and mental health support, a digital gym and nutrition hub, legal assistance, financial assistance, cancer support, life and parenting coaching and much more.

“Our colleagues have been telling us how big of a challenge access to GP and medical costs can be for them and their families, and we have listened,” said Maurice Kelly, People Director at Tesco Ireland.

“As part of our new well-being programme, we are delighted to invest in further supporting our colleagues and their families with the day-to-day challenges that life brings.”

Kelly continued that Tesco helping its colleagues to take positive steps towards taking care of their mind, body, and their lives is of utmost importance. She added that the health and well-being of Tescos colleagues means a healthier and happier workplace for all.

“A key feature of these new measures we are announcing is not only are they free but more importantly these services are available to interact with 24/7, allowing colleagues to take more control of their well-being when needed.”

Sinéad Proos, Head of Health & Well-being at Laya Healthcare, which is delivering enhanced support for Tesco Ireland, said that since 2020, there has been an increase in demand for digital health services due to pent-up demand and better awareness around the rapid speed, ease of access, and convenience that telehealth supports can offer.

“We’re proud to work with such a progressive employer like Tesco Ireland who is putting the well-being of their team and families at the heart of their successful business strategy,” said Proos.

Tesco Ireland’s new and improved well-being services are just the latest investment demonstrating its commitment to supporting colleagues across its retail, distribution, customer contact centre and head office teams.

In the past 16 months, Tesco has awarded pay increases of 10 percent to its retail staff, alongside other financial well-being enhancements, which included the introduction of a more accessible industry-leading retirement savings plan, a ‘Save As You Earn’ share purchase scheme; and the provision of tax-incentive train and bus tickets and the Bike to Work scheme.

Earlier this year, Tesco also introduced enhancements to the Colleague Clubcard discount scheme providing a total annual allowance of €1,500 with colleagues availing of a monthly 15 percent discount event on top of the existing “always on” 10 percent discount on all purchases. Furthermore, Tesco colleagues also benefit from free hot breakfast and lunch options and complimentary period care products.

On top of these financial well-being measures, Tesco Ireland colleagues can also avail of paid enhancements to statutory benefits for maternity, paternity, and adoptive leave, and earlier this year, became the first grocery retailer in Ireland to introduce five days of paid leave for colleagues experiencing domestic abuse.