Barton’s blog: What are the limits to employers’ cost-of-living support?

This week we have seen more employers implement policies to help staff with cost-of-living increases, but it poses the question: how far will employers go in their efforts to offer support?

In recent months we have seen examples of energy bills paid for by employers, as well as pay rises and one-off bonuses. Most recently, two food producers teamed up to provide their staff with food bundles to help ease the cost of the weekly shop.

The rising cost of living is also affecting areas such as mental wellbeing and retirement saving; Aon’s DC Today survey reported that 20% of pension scheme members have requested to reduce or opt out of pension savings in a reaction to economic pressures. Meanwhile, our own readers said that a fifth (20.3%) of employers have introduced in new mental wellbeing benefits as a result of the cost-of-living crisis.

This is all encouraging, but will we see this support evolve further as the reality of the crisis continues to bite? The UK may have avoided falling into a technical recession, but we still face a difficult time ahead.

An analysis piece we published this week, Supporting everyday financial wellbeing in a changing economic climate, explores how employers can offer more help for everyday spending through their benefits schemes.

Finally, for those employers that have been doing a stellar job of supporting their teams over the difficult year behind us, today is the final deadline for entries to our Employee Benefits Awards 2023.

We have had many fantastic entries in already, but there is still time to complete yours today. There are 23 categories to select from, including three new ones introduced for 2023: Best benefits to support employees with hybrid working, Best benefits to support reproductive health and Best public sector benefits.

The winners for 2023 will be announced at the must-attend event for HR professionals, giving entrants and industry professionals the opportunity to network and celebrate best practice and innovation.

Head to our awards website for more information on the awards and how to enter.

Tynan Barton

Features editor