press release
‘Darkness Into Light’ Pieta House Saturday 12th May 2018
Luis Barrero Lopez,
one of 160 Market Lane Group employees

Cork-based Market Lane Group, which includes four restaurants and a microbrewery, has just become one of only two Irish companies to be awarded a Pieta House Amber Flag.  (The other is the Republic of Work. ) The company has also just been presented with an inaugural ‘Cork Healthy Cities’ PSYCHED Award.  Both accolades are in recognition of Market Lane’s positive approach to employee wellness and mental health issues.
The Amber Flag initiative recognises the individual efforts of groups to create healthy, inclusive environments that support mental well-being.  It unites these groups in their efforts to work toward a happier, healthier Ireland; one that eradicates the stigmas associated with mental health issues.  PSYCHED Awards focus solely on the business community and are based on what employers are doing in the area of employee wellness and mental health in the workplace.
Says Jerry O’Sullivan of the Market Lane Group "We are delighted to further strengthen the support we offer to our colleagues and the community by adopting these initiatives. We work in a highly pressurised industry with a young, multicultural and diverse workforce. By supporting each other in times of need, we can share a problem and lighten the load. These Awards send the message out to all of our colleagues that ‘it's good to talk’."
For companies like the Market Lane Group, which employs over 160 staff, even small steps in this direction can make big financial sense.   In a study conducted by IBEC for National Wellness Day 2017, researchers found that 6 out of 10 employees said that they would stay long-term in a company with an employer that shows concern for them.  Conversely, it also showed that nearly half of the 1,000 employees surveyed would leave a job where an employer doesn't care about their wellbeing.
At Market Lane, this people-centric approach is evident from the first point of contact a customer or a prospective employee has with the group. The Group, via its company manual, outlines its commitment to providing an inclusive and open working environment that is free from any form of bullying and harassment; to welcoming diversity and recognising its contribution to the success of the business, and to the group's belief in equality of opportunity based on ability and merit.
Managers work on the ground alongside the rest of the staff, helping to create a team spirit and an open channel to talk when stresses and pressures arise from personal lives or work.  These managers are also trained to notice and to act appropriately around these issues with colleagues.
Judy & Conrad Howard with Tracey Sweeney - founders of the Market Lane Group

In addition, there is also a 'wellness' team within the company, including staff from all aspects of the company, who are actively involved in wellness initiatives all year-round.  For example, this team will lead the group’s  ‘Darkness Into Light’ initiative on Saturday12th, where two of their city centre restaurants (Cafe at Blackrock Castle and Orso) will be open early (6.00am) for walkers completing the walk; one of several fundraising initiatives Market Lane Group has planned for the day.  

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