Back in March, the Waitrainer+ office was hit by the flu. Personally, I was sick for the entire month. We all tried our best to keep getting work done, but there is nothing as challenging as working while you just want to be able to lie down and watch your favorite daytime TV.
This got us all thinking about how restaurant workers handle sick days and healthcare. We know for most restaurants, offering health care is prohibitive; it’s just not something most restaurants can afford.
However, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, many people who previously were unable to afford, or access, healthcare now have that opportunity. Regardless of what’s happening in the news recently, the ACA still exists and is something restaurant workers can take advantage of. We love this article about how the ACA impacted restaurant workers
You might wonder why I’m writing about this. The truth is, your employees need access to training and information about healthcare: why they need it, how to get it if you cannot offer it, and the repercussions for not having it. Here’s why.
1. A healthy workplace is a happy workplace.
It goes without saying: the month that everyone in the Waitrainer+ office had the flu was a month where not much happened. We did the bare minimum. Now, imagine the flu is running rampant in your restaurant: you don’t want those workers showing up to work, infecting customers, and making mistakes. You want them to go to the doctor, get tested for the flu, and then take time off until they can come back to work, right?
When your employees have access to healthcare, and know their rights regarding sick days, they can make better choices to prevent illness from spreading around your restaurant.
2. It improves morale.
When you present healthcare training to your employees, what does this say to them? It says, “I care about you; I care that you are healthy; and I want you to have the best options available.” That’s it! Your employees will know you care when you help them access health care, even if you yourself cannot provide it.
3. It improves their lives.
Having access to healthcare, and addressing health issues that they previously might have ignored, can help them live better lives. Whether they finally address a lingering issue or they receive help for depression, their lives improve dramatically; they can be better people, professionally and personally.