Cost-of-living crisis - what can employers do?

95% of workers feel their employers should be doing more to support them 

The UK is in the throes of its worst financial crisis in 30 years. Individuals and businesses alike are feeling the pinch but, as the costs of running a household increase month after month, it’s come to light that 95% of workers feel their employers should be doing more to support them through the financial crisis. 

It’s no surprise that people are beginning to consider the different ways they can receive financial benefits within the workplace. 63% of employees say they would move jobs to find a role with better financial rewards, 83% say that workplace benefits have a big part to play in how they cope with the financial crisis, and 50% of employees say they will be forced to find extra ways to make money if businesses don’t increase financial support.

Will businesses back their workers?

According to KPMG there are two ways employers can provide support with the cost of living crisis; increase employees’ pay or reduce their costs. Not all employers – particularly small businesses – can afford to increase their worker’s salaries, or afford them the luxury of working from home to reduce travel costs and time. But what they can do is offer benefits to help make up for the rise in the cost of living.

The good news, at least, is that 95% of businesses agree that workplace benefits will play a major part in how well their employees fare in these turbulent times. In response to the crisis, many businesses are offering increased benefits to help ease the load for their workers. 

From discounted products to free lunches and cash bonuses, John Lewis and Nationwide are among the organisations that have already pledged to offer payouts to help their lowest-paid employees survive financial turmoil this winter. However, there are many existing benefits offered by businesses that employees might be failing to take advantage of. Cycle-to-work schemes subsidise the cost of a bicycle so workers can commute for free – a programme initially launched to improve worker health and reduce the impact on the environment, it’s now reaping a third benefit thanks to its reduction in travel costs. 

Similarly, some businesses also offer season ticket loans to help soften the blow of travel card prices for employers unable to cycle or walk to work. Free eye tests, local business discounts, and even the chance to sell back unused annual leave are all other money-saving opportunities that employees may not know their employers offer.

Are workers getting the benefits they deserve?

Of course, workers aren’t the only ones affected by global price hikes. Businesses across the UK are already worried they might not survive the winter with increased prices of petrol and energy continuing to rise.

GWCU can help

Here at Great Western Credit Union, our Money@Work scheme allows partner businesses to build the financial resilience of their workforce, open to both savers and borrowers. 

This year, GWCU launched Flex@Work, a product that allows employees to borrow credit from their salaries when they need it, and pay it back in simple repayments direct from their pay packets. The scheme responds to the 55% of employees who, according to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP), wanted savings and borrowing solutions provided by their employer.

Helping employers support their employees to become more financially healthy and stable is one of many ways we are helping businesses and individuals to navigate the cost of living crisis.

Get in touch today via email or call 0117 924 7309 to find out how you can help your employees feel less stressed about their finances by making saving and borrowing simpler.

With one in three workers taking on extra shifts and overtime to increase their pay, and one in eight workers seeking a second job, the impact this will have on businesses is hard to ignore. 

In the first instance, payrolls will be set to increase due to employees seeking their own ways to boost their pay. And in the second, businesses face losing their workers in favour of other, better-paid roles. In both eventualities, employees face burnout which will have even further negative repercussions for their employers.

What benefits do employees want from their employers?

In many cases, the most desired benefits (aside from a pay increase) do not even relate to direct financial rewards. Businesses already know that offering perks help to secure and retain good candidates. 

But according to Talent Locker, these are the benefits that employees are most interested in obtaining from their employers: 

  • Private health insurance
  • Flexible working hours
  • Flexible annual leave
  • Free tea, coffee, and fruit in the office
  • Training and development
  • Paid professional subscriptions
  • Strong company culture and working environment
  • Life insurance
  • Health and wellness packages

In the UK, 81% of workers say the cost of living crisis means they have had to cut spending on costs relating to their personal health, including physiotherapy, optician appointments, and dental services. So simply offering packages that can help workers to afford simple, vital treatments that affect not only their personal health but also their ability to perform at work will reap benefits for your business, as well as your employees.

Published by
Posted on
08 November 2022