We enhanced our family policies with Peninsula

A blue company logo showing a side profile of a person with a white shadow, and text that says Sunderland Counselling Service

Sunderland Counselling Service

A man wearing a suit standing outside the entrance of a building,
  • Business size

    170 employees

  • Industry


  • Support

    HR documentation and support


Sunderland Counselling is a charity that provides talking therapy services across the North East of England.

They offer NHS-commissioned services, and are accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy .

With many ethical and professional standards to uphold, CEO Toby discusses the value of HR documentation support.

The situation

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) set out certain standards for their members and operate a rigorous service accreditation scheme. 

So, in order to remain an accredited service, Toby needs to showcase robust HR and Health & Safety processes. This helps prove that SCS is a professional organisation who treat staff fairly and in line with the latest UK legislation as a minimum.

Toby also wanted to provide enhanced perks and policies for his staff, too.

Retention can be an issue within the charity sector, and Toby wanted to offer attractive benefits to attract more staff – and hold onto them. As many of Toby’s staff could apply for an NHS role with a generous family leave framework, he wanted to enhance his support in order to compete.

I was really keen that we updated our maternity policy...

...Previously, it was basically in line with the statutory minimum. And I wanted to improve it so that it was more in line with the NHS offer

- Toby / Chief Executive at Sunderland Counselling Service

As a Peninsula client, Toby could access unlimited support to strengthen his company policies and procedures. Here’s how…

How we helped

With unlimited documentation support, Toby mentioned his concerns to his Peninsula consultants.

He mentioned that he wanted to boost the maternity and paternity support within the business, with the aim to attract more applicants and retain staff.

Toby’s consultant listened to what he wanted to roll out, and together, they drafted a new maternity and paternity policy with the new entitlement.

As this policy was approved by an employment law specialist, Toby had the confidence that he was meeting essential HR guidelines and providing a fair and consistent enhanced package.

Peninsula HR advisers also regularly review the charity’s staff handbook, policies, and paperwork. As employment law changes frequently, Toby has advisers who alert him to any new changes – and update employee handbooks and policies to bring them in line with the latest laws.

So if an accrediting professional body – like BACP – asks for proof of fair and compliant workplace processes, Toby can provide this.

It gives BACP the confidence that Sunderland Counselling is a fair and ethical organisation – who always provide the correct employee entitlements.

A man wearing a suit standing outside the entrance of a building,

We’ve got a really robust employee handbook which Peninsula review annually to make sure that any changes to legislation are incorporated. If there is a change in legislation, Peninsula will proactively inform us, update our handbook, and give us sample policies that we can adapt.

- Toby / Chief Executive at Sunderland Counselling Service

The value

Toby now is happy with the family friendly benefits he provides to his staff.

This will help him attract more applicants and reduce staff turnover – as staff are less likely to quit in favour of a different role with preferable entitlement.

Plus, by giving his senior management team access to unlimited advice, he has the confidence that his organisation remains as risk-free as possible.

It’s about managing risk...

...and making sure that we're not exposed to any kind of legal or financial risk. If we didn't have Peninsula, we'd have to employ HR specialists – which comes at a cost. So, it's cost effective for us

- Toby / Chief Executive at Sunderland Counselling Service

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