The best employee benefits for tackling the Cost-of-Living Crisis
As the Cost-of-Living Crisis continues to pose a significant challenge for many employees, it's clear that the escalating prices of essential goods and services are making it increasingly difficult for workers to maintain financial stability.
Recent data from the ONS highlights the impact of this crisis, with 76% of adults reporting an increase in their cost of living in the past month. Additionally, the OBR predicts a 4.3% decline in real post-tax household income for the 2022-23 period, indicating that tough times are likely to persist in the foreseeable future.
Many families are being forced to rely on local food banks as the Crisis continues. Unsurprisingly, this financial strain is leading to stress, anxiety and a diminished quality of life.
Many employers want to know how to improve the wellbeing of their employees in a meaningful way and are looking for solutions that help them manage their finances and enhance their overall quality of life.
So, how can you support your team and ensure they are performing optimally in the workplace? We look at some of the steps and solutions that may help.
Empower employees for financial success
Firstly, it is important to address some of the underlying issues behind your employee’s financial concerns. Money struggles often stem from a lack of understanding about available options and insufficient education on budgeting, so providing your staff with a means to learn financial skills is a great way to help them long-term.
An easy and accessible way to do this is by providing access to a Financial Wellbeing Education platform. These online platforms are designed to offer a wide array of educational materials covering various topics, including budgeting, investment strategies, retirement planning, savings, and responsible credit management. You can make the platform available to your employees as part of your employee benefits package.
Accessible at all times, these user-friendly platforms cater to both beginners and individuals with more advanced skills. They equip your employees with the knowledge and skills to make the most of their income, allowing them to build a stronger financial foundation for the future.
Ease the burden of existing debt
Next, provide the means for your team to ease the burden of any existing debt they may have. A great way to do this is by providing access to a Financial Wellbeing Debt Advice service as part of your benefits package. Accessed through an online platform, the service gives your employees access to a confidential debt advice helpline.
In addition, these comprehensive solutions include online tools that deliver personalised recommendations on the best way to tackle problem debt — without the need for credit file searches.
By easing the burden of debt and offering practical solutions, this benefit contributes to improved mental and physical wellbeing of your team.
Address unexpected expenses
Unanticipated expenses can quickly disrupt an employee's financial stability, particularly when they haven't accounted for such costs in their budget. Providing your team with access to a Financial Wellbeing Lending solution as part of your employee benefits offering makes it convenient for employees to secure hassle-free loans that can be repaid through their salaries.
It allows employees to navigate unexpected financial challenges with greater peace of mind, ensuring they can swiftly regain their financial footing.
Extend support beyond finances
While we've focused on financial wellbeing thus far, it's important to recognise that physical wellbeing can also be impacted by the Cost-of-Living Crisis.
Our following recommendation, Everyday Health Cash Plans, whilst typically reserved for physical health concerns, can play a vital role in helping employees make ends meet during this challenging economic climate.
Essential medical expenses like dental appointments, optician visits, and the need for glasses or contact lenses are not optional costs; they are essential. However, when the cost-of-living rises, allocating funds for these unforeseen expenses becomes increasingly difficult for families. Dental emergencies and sudden requirements for new glasses can strain budgets that are already stretched thin.
By offering an Everyday Health Cash Plan as part of your employee benefits solution, you provide your team with an avenue to cover these medical essentials. These plans encompass various services, including optical appointments, dental treatments, physiotherapy sessions, and acupuncture. Not only does this benefit help employees save money, but it also supports their physical wellbeing.
Additionally, by ensuring quick access to medical care, you are enabling them to return to work promptly following appointments.
Help stretch household budgets
Our final recommended employee benefit is Discount Savings Cards, a practical way to help employees cope with the rising cost of living. These versatile rewards enable your employees to save money on essential items like groceries and beverages, ultimately alleviating some of the financial strain they may face.
Some of these schemes help families save as much as 4% on their weekly supermarket purchases, with additional savings of 7.5% at retailers like Iceland or Marks and Spencer.
By introducing a Discount Savings Card scheme as part of your employee benefits provision, your employees can stretch their budgets further, easing the pressure caused by the increasing cost of living.
Employee Benefits: A resource for financial wellbeing
Offering the best employee benefits to address the Cost-of-Living Crisis showcases your company's commitment to employee wellbeing and financial security. By providing financial education, debt advice, employee loans, and discounts that contribute to living expenses, such as healthcare and groceries, businesses can make a meaningful difference in the lives of their employees during times of economic hardship. Small changes like these can ensure that your employees feel valued and supported, fostering a resilient and thriving workforce.