Posted Date: 18th October 2022

1 in 8 employees in the UK are currently living in work poverty…When a working person’s income after housing costs, is less than 60% of the national average, they don’t earn enough to meet the cost of living (Joseph Roundtree Foundation)

Inflation rates and energy, food, housing and transport costs are at their highest in decades, leaving us in the midst of a huge cost of living crisis. Although the crisis is more likely to affect low-income employees, you shouldn’t underestimate how far the cost-of-living crisis is reaching your employees.

So what can we do to help support employees?

  • There is the obvious – provide salary increases and bonuses. At the very least, you should provide a fair and liveable wage for all employees. Although the National Living Wage of £9.50 per hour increased by 6.6% in April, it still isn’t high enough to protect working employees from poverty.


  • Consider signing up to the Living Wage Foundation and pay employees at least £10.90 per hour (£11.95 in London), which is based on the actual costs of living.


  • Salary increases and bonus schemes should be transparent and how they’re calculated and how employees can achieve these should be communication.


  • Provide employees with free advice on financial wellbeing and debt support, - check out Salary Finance.


  • Help pay for lunch and travel costs.


  • Increase business mileage rates.


  • Allow flexible working, you could agree key operational hours, but even a few hours of flexibility can save employees a lot of money in childcare hours.


  • Allow employees to work from home to reduce commuting costs.


  • Support employees with back up childcare or elderly relative care, or support them with the costs, Bright Horizons help employees to save up to 30% in childcare costs at no costs to employers.


  • Provide discounts on household costs – there are a lot of employee discount scheme companies out there, such as Perk Box.


  • Start a recycling scheme whereby employees offer free or bargain items to colleagues, such as children’s toys, kids clothes, furniture etc.


  • Provide paid virtual tutoring sessions for employees with kids who may have fallen behind after COVID. Bright Horizons also offers this service.


  • Provide more training and career pathways to develop employees so they can increase their earnings, whilst also helping to increase retention.


Ask employees what they need support with

A flexible approach and not a one size all will have more impact, don’t be afraid to be creative!


Consider conducting a questionnaire or survey, asking employees to rate a list of potential benefits the Company could offer and how beneficial they would be.



For any further advice on this subject please contact our HR advisors who are here to help.


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