Financial Crisis – what can employers do?
The cost-of-living crisis is the term that has been coined for rising costs in the UK, on products and services used in every UK household and business ranging from energy prices to the cost of weekly shopping. This has led to a fall in disposable income and has been caused by a combination of the war in Ukraine, high inflation and tax increases.
The result of this has been both individuals and organisations cutting back on spending, and a fall in well-being rates as the crisis takes a financial, emotional, and sometimes physical toll.
So what you can employers do to help?
Consider employee discount schemes
As small business owners trying to negotiate individual discounts for your team is going to be hard. Although money is tight there are some excellent online platforms that will do all of this for a very competitive price. We partner with Pirkx as not only do they look at financial wellbeing but also all aspects of well-being including access to a GP and counselling 24/7.
Offer an Employee Assistance Programmes
Many workplaces offer an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) to help employees deal with personal problems that might impact their work performance, health and wellbeing. An EAP can offer employees a wide range of support, including online resources, counselling, legal support and referral services, on what to do if they are struggling with their finances. Some insurances that you have for your businesses have these built in so it is worthwhile asking but otherwise, Pirkx is a good option.
Help employees make the most of their savings
Over two-fifths, (42%) of UK adults say that the increase in the cost of living has meant that they have reduced or stopped any regular savings. However, for those employees who can still afford to save, it is more important than ever that they make the most of these hard-earned savings. Savings and investment accounts offered in the workplace including workplace ISAs can provide a convenient way for people to save as deposits are often taken directly from salary making it habitual and effortless. In addition, these accounts may also offer discounted fees.
Why not get a Financial Advisor to come and speak to your team – that could be the best Christmas Present they get this year!
30% of UK adults say that they know that they should be saving more for retirement but it can be tempting to stop or reduce pension contributions when times are tough. In fact, according to new research, 7% of people plan to reduce their workplace pension contributions to keep up with the increased cost of living. However, a pension is one of the biggest workplace perks so it’s important that the benefits of them are well communicated to help employees avoid making decisions that they will likely regret later on in life.
Signpost external support services
There are many support services available to make employees aware of. For example, budgeting tools are available online such as MoneyHelper’s budget planner. For those struggling to pay their bills, Citizens Advice can help them to work out what benefits or grants they may be eligible for such as the one-off payment of £650 to low-income households on means-tested benefits such as Universal Credit, as well as the £400 energy bills discount due in October. If debt is something that employees are worried about there are many debt charities out there such as StepChange and National Debtline, who can help people to fix serious debt problems. Or if employees are in debt to their energy supplier, many of them are offering grants to help.
What if Employers do nothing?
If you decide that all of the above is too expensive and you don’t have time then you might want to rethink.
Do you have time to:
- Recruit new Employees as your current staff leave to find more money. On average, this is costing an employer half the salary of the employee to replace – PLUS their salary!
- Unproductive Employees because they are panicked about paying the bills. Which in the end will hit the bottom line.
- Employees have to choose between eating and heating – which will in turn create more sickness days. Can you afford to have your employees off or come to work ill because they can’t afford to be off?
These are just a couple of examples but ones that will hit small businesses in the pocket !
How we can help?
We have been asked more and more about what proactive measures can we do to support employees and therefore will be launching an online 5-day challenge on the 17th of October 2022.
We also have a Staff Financial & Wellbeing Bundle to help you out so why not take a look 🙂
As it is online you can join at any time, you just need to commit the time to review the content and more importantly put some measures in place.
For the first 10 to sign up, you will get an additional benefit of access to Pirkx’s free for a month so you can see it for yourself.
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