The cost of living has been rising dramatically throughout this year, and more price hikes are expected in the coming months. If you’re running a business, there are things that you can do to help your employees manage the crisis. Taking action will not only improve the lives of your staff, but improving employee benefits is likely to improve staff retention, work ethic and productivity, as well as foster a positive relationship between employees and staff.
Pay your staff the real Living Wage
The most important thing that employers can do to help employees with the cost of living crisis is to pay their staff the real Living Wage. The real Living Wage was established by the Living Wage Foundation in 2001, and remains the only rate of pay based on living costs. Businesses can sign up to the Living Wage Foundation and commit to paying their staff a wage that is based on living costs.
10,000 businesses in the UK are currently offering employees the real Living Wage, including Google, Nationwide and Transcendit. You can find out more about the real Living Wage, and why your business should sign up here.
Help out with transportation, or go hybrid
The cost of petrol has skyrocketed over the last year, leaving commuters struggling. There are a number of employee benefit schemes that can help staff with their transportation to and from work, most of which use salary sacrifice.
The Corporate Metro Season Ticket scheme from Nexus allows employers to buy discounted Metro Season tickets on your employees’ behalf, and recover the costs using salary sacrifice over the year. This allows staff to spread the cost of an annual ticket whilst accessing the saving benefits. There are a number of public transport companies which offer similar schemes, so you’re likely to find one that works in your area.
The Cycle to Work Scheme is a government scheme, allowing employees to save money on bicycles and equipment. It's an annual tax exemption, whereby employers can loan bikes and equipment to their employees as a tax-free benefit.
Businesses can also help employees by taking their company hybrid, and allowing their staff to choose whether they work from home or work in the office, cutting out commuting costs completely. If you’re thinking about going hybrid, check out our article on Windows 365, and how it can help your employees wherever they’re working from.
Bring the benefits
Having a comprehensive benefits package is a great way to help employees with the cost of living crisis, whilst also attracting new talent, increasing staff retention and improving the relationship between employees and management.
Financial planning and giving employees access to free advice can be a great benefit to employees. Whilst the cost of living crisis isn’t a financial planning issue, having an experienced financial advisor to speak to can help employees to feel more in control of their finances, and get through financial difficulty.
Businesses can also consider offering benefits that allow employees discounts on the things that they purchase regularly, which will help to bring their overall costs down. Employers can sign up to an employee discount scheme, and employees can start receiving discounts on their grocery shops, retail, gym memberships, health and wellbeing services, and more.
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