The cost of living and employers
As an employer, you can’t control things like inflation and the rise in energy prices, but you may find that your employees look to you for assistance and support during times of financial stress. With the cost of living rising faster than wages, it’s natural that you may need to reassess how you aid your employees and help ease the burden on them.
Financially, you may be thinking that you can’t afford to increase wages, especially if your wholesale prices have increased or if you’re still dealing with the effects of the pandemic, but if you fail to accommodate the rising cost of living, you may find that your employees jump ship.
After all, the pandemic saw employees consider their work situations carefully and led to what is now known as The Great Resignation – and this is continuing into 2022. In fact, a recent survey found that 29% of UK employees are thinking about getting a new job this year. Of these, 23% say that a lack of a pay rise is a driving force.
From an employment perspective, when these figures are considered, you need to think if you can afford not to accommodate your employees as the cost of living soars. Few employers will be able to match pay awards to the rate of increase in the cost of living, but meeting somewhere in the middle would go a long way to supporting staff. It’s not all money-related though – there are multiple ways you can look at supporting your workers during times of financial unease.
Flexible work arrangements
Flexible working remains a key aspect of employee retention, with a quarter of people who are considering leaving their jobs delaying doing so because they don’t want to lose their ability to work flexible hours from home. In addition to being a major player in terms of attracting and retaining talent, allowing your employees to work flexibly can ease some of the pressures associated with the rising cost of living.
For example, if your employees can work from home for all or part of the week, they won’t need to pay as much in the way of commuting, allowing them to retain more of their money rather than spending it on increased tickets and pump prices.
Another way flexible working can help ease the increase in the cost of living is through your employees being able to claim tax relief on part of their water, gas, and electricity bills. They can only do this if they are mandated to work from home, but given how important flexible working has become to employees, it’s certainly something to consider formally implementing if you haven’t already.