Following last week’s damp squib of a Spring Statement, headlines this week have been dominated by how much the cost of living is due to rise yet again from today (1 April). With the price of gas, electricity and council tax all set to rise, along with an increase in national insurance contributions (NICs) on 6 April, many households will be left feeling the squeeze.
In response, we are seeing some employers taking steps to support staff. London City Airport, for example, is promoting how staff can use the benefits available to them to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.
Meanwhile, organisations such as Revolution Bar Groups and Transport for London have announced pay increases for employees. While not directly linked to the rising cost of living, these will no doubt be welcomed by employees.
So how far should employers’ role extend in supporting staff dealing cost of living increase? It will not always be viable for an organisation to provide financial support, however, signposting relevant benefits within an employer’s package can go a long way towards providing support. Ensuring staff are aware of the discounts available to them through a voluntary benefits or retail discounts scheme, for example, or how they can access resources and information to enable them to better manage their day-to-day finances may all make a difference.
In many cases, individuals may not wish to admit to their employer that they are experiencing financial issues or are struggling, knowing there are avenues available to access information and support may go some way to alleviating pressure and stress.
As the cost of living continues to bite, increasing numbers of employees will undoubtedly begin to feel the pressure.