Menu Close

Cost of living crisis – what can employers do?

Over the past few months, rising costs for food, fuel and living have pushed thousands below the poverty line as people struggle to make ends meet.

The Resolution Foundation has forecast that a typical household’s income will fall by about £1,000 this year, the biggest drop since the mid-1970s.

As prices continue to skyrocket, employers have scrambled to find solutions to help their staff, without draining company finances.

Alan Price, CEO at BrightHR, has the following advice for employers looking to cope with the ongoing cost of living crisis.

“Employers are having to compete with record-high starting salaries, increased overheads and pay review requests from employees who are trying equally hard to meet inflated prices.

“Businesses without extensive financial resources may find it difficult to meet employees’ expectations and risk losing key people. In such situations, it is beneficial to review wider approaches to motivation and satisfaction, such as flexible or hybrid working arrangements, enhanced holiday entitlements and dedicated mental health days.

“Much has been made of the benefits of working from home, but one that does not get mentioned as much is the money saved on transport. One study showed that office-based employees can save £500 a month by working from home; money that can then be spent on food, better accommodation or clothes for their children, or fuel.

“Another avenue to consider is a one-off cash stipend paid to employees; this must be done carefully and only if the business can afford it, otherwise you risk the financial future of your company.

“The right benefits package can go a long way to improving your employees’ quality of life. Salary sacrifice schemes can be mutually beneficial to both you and your employees. They will pay dividends for a struggling employee, whilst also helping the company save money on taxes.

“Offering a breakfast club can be great for socialising and building bonds between team members, while saving employees up to £100 a month on an important daily meal.

“Other common benefits that can help employees save money are covering the cost of opticians appointments, subsidised season tickets for commuters, gym memberships or access to online marketplace offering discounts on a variety of goods and services, for example BrightExchange, Perkbox or similar.

“Having an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) for employees to access support is also an important benefit, especially at a time when so many are feeling stresses from increased financial pressures.”

Posted in News