Massage, complementary therapies and civil servants

Are you sitting comfortably? Then you're probably a civil servant availing yourself of some of the complementary therapies available to staff of the Welsh Government.

The administration is currently seeking a company to provide massages to government staff (at their own expense).

Or, to be more precise: "The provision of de-stress massage and other additional complementary therapies to Welsh Government employees".

The contract has been put out to tender here, courtesy of the Welsh Government's "Corporate Responsibility and Benchmarking team". If you're not clear what benchmarking is, I suspect you may not be alone, but the contract could cover services for more than 5,000 staff at several locations.

The detailed specification - which (mistakenly) refers to "complimentary" rather than "complementary" therapies - suggests that a price of between £6 and £7.50 will be charged per session for de-stress massage.

There is a dress code, should you wish to apply: "All suppliers working at Welsh Government offices, who are providing services as set out in this specification, are required to wear a uniform that they will need to provide themselves. For example, a smart tunic or other suitable attire for providing holistic therapy treatments in the workplace."

Therapists do not need to be bi-lingual, although this is desirable. It does sound like an excellent opportunity for a qualified aromatherapist with experience of Welsh politics. What is Eleanor Burnham doing these days?

A Welsh Government spokeswoman tells me: "The Welsh Government is committed to ensuring the wellbeing of our employees, developing best practice in the provision of a range of services for staff.

"We wish to continue to provide access to staff to complementary therapies to assist our existing occupational health and counselling services, but we emphasize that this service is funded at the employees own cost."

Benchmarking? Best practice? Jargon can be so stressful. I'm off to find my own darkened room with soothing dolphin music and scented candles.