A brief background to the historical context of welfare in the workplace is provided and current attitudes amongst UK companies in the private sector are explored. It is argued that both the link with personnel and prevailing social and economic theories have had a direct bearing on the status of welfare provision. From the research, current styles of welfare provision are examined, falling roughly into three categories: (1) informal assistance through management; (2) specialist provision, either in the health facility or in its own right; and (3) external counselling services, including independent consultancies and psychiatrists and psychoanalysts. Few organisations, however, offer the complete range of skills and services related to general welfare needs, and UK companies are not making use of those that do exist. As personnel managers choose to marginalise their welfare role and maximise their contribution to supporting management needs they are distancing themselves not only from that role but also from the employees. Ways must be found of establishing an approach to company welfare compatible with the needs of society in the 1990s.
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