Following a pilot program, Unilever Canada Inc. is making its partnership with Maple to provide ongoing, on-demand virtual care to the employees of the consumer-goods company permanent.

Unilever implemented the pilot program via the health-care platform in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic last spring in a bid to increase its employees’ peace of mind and to provide access to health-care remotely, noted a press release.

Read: Pandemic accelerating virtual health care, focus on mental health

The pilot program saw a 35 per cent sign-up rate in its first months, with over 40 per cent of consultations taking place outside of working hours. During that time, the program saw high utilization (35 per cent) from employees’ family members and dependents.

“I’m so pleased we were able to add this excellent and timely benefit for our employees and their families as part of our people-first and safety-first strategy during the pandemic,”  said Gary Wade, president of Unilever Canada, in a press release.