Chef Network, Ireland’s professional chef community which represents almost 3,500 chefs, called for chefs to commit to the Kitchen Workplace Charter to mark National Workplace Wellbeing Day on the 12th of April.
Ruth Hegarty, head of community at Chef Network, said, “Workplace Wellbeing day is a good time to remind chefs about the Kitchen Workplace Charter and to ask them talk through it with their team, make a commitment to it, and most importantly put their own plan in place for how they will implement it. The charter looks at how chefs can build a positive environment and promote learning in the workplace, so it is not focused solely on staff wellbeing, but this is a vital part of it. We have asked chefs and employers to consider how they can improve quality of life and work for their teams, often through very simple things like ensuring staff take their breaks and eat properly, but also through encouraging wellness activities and mental health awareness, and reviewing working hours”.
Chef Network are encouraging chefs to ensure that they have the charter – which is available at www.chefnetwork.ie – on display in their workplace, and that they make an effort to talk to their team about the implementation of these guiding principles for a happier and healthier workplace environment.
The Kitchen Workplace Charter was launched in November 2018 by the chef community in Ireland to make the industry a better place to work. The charter consists of a set of principles for each kitchen team to adhere to which will foster a working environment built on respect and professional development, and create a culture where people are happy to come to work. It puts a strong focus on the importance of work-life balance and the wellbeing of staff.
The charter asks chefs to make this commitment by Building a Positive and Encouraging Environment, Nurturing Camaraderie and Team Spirit, Promoting Learning and Development, Prioritising Work-Life Balance, Giving Back to the Chef Community and Contributing to a Positive Future of the Industry.
Chef Network support chefs with professional development through subsidised, peer-led training which will not only sharpen their culinary skills, but also provide the leadership and management skills needed to implement the Kitchen Workplace Charter in their own kitchens.
In the process of developing the Kitchen Workplace Charter, chefs came together to discuss what they love about being a chef and spoke about the camaraderie in the industry, the creativity and variety in the job, and the many opportunities and different career paths it affords them. Chef Network is also calling for chefs to tell these positive stories to help promote the industry and attract the chefs of the future.
Chefs can sign up to Chef Network for free through the website www.chefnetwork.ie where they will also gain access to an online community where they can ask for advice, find and post jobs, and read blogs from other chefs on topics such as wellness, sourcing sustainably, experiences of travelling and working abroad.