This browser is not actively supported anymore. For the best passle experience, we strongly recommend you upgrade your browser.

Search our site


| 1 minute read

The Cost of Living Crisis: Five ways employers can help their workforce

The cost of living crisis is a top concern for the UK workforce. As Sunak races to announce a package of support measures, UK employers are facing increased pressure to respond "in cash" for example by awarding inflation-busting pay increases or hardship bonuses to their work force. But few employers are in a position to throw limitless money at the problem. As dark clouds gather over the UK economy the Bank of England has warned employees not to seek large pay rises if they want to see costs stabilise. 

So how else can employers support their workforce through the cost of living crisis? Here are five suggestions:

1. Broaden out a flexible benefits package 

Employers should listen to their workforce to ensure their benefits package meets diverse needs. A flexible benefits package is optimal because it acknowledges the fact that circumstances will differ employee to employee and could include dental care, transport-cost loans, discount vouchers which extend to non-luxury items, salary sacrifice to enable tax efficiencies, annual health/mental health checks, or the option of buying/selling annual leave. 

2. Greater support for employee mental health 

Financial security is central to employee mental health and wellbeing. Employers should consider in all cases whether staff have a confidential channel to air their financial worries and seek support if they are struggling. This may take the form of trained mental health first aiders, an Employee Assistance Programme or scheduling regular "check ins" with staff. Effective initiatives to identify, de-stigmatise and support employees who are are struggling with mental health issues have never been more important.

3. Facilitating peer group support, networks and pooling of resources 

Larger employers may be able to facilitate the creation of resource groups for example to enable car-pooling or recycling of work wear. Employers can actively encourage peer to peer support. For example hosting lunch time walking groups or offering hosting, tech or other support to ensure resource pooling groups are a success. 

4. Greater Flexibility 

Requests for greater flexibility due to increasing financial pressure should be carefully considered, such as increased home working to reduce rising petrol costs, requests for overtime or an increase to workings hours. These requests should be dealt with confidentially and with sensitivity based on individual circumstances. 

5. Assisting with financial training and budgeting 

Employers should consider offering optional financial training and budgeting support to employees during to support them in manging their personal finances and ensure they know how to access help if struggling. 

Above all else, employers must ensure their people do not feel embarrassed or stigmatised by raising financial concerns at work and are supported in keeping their heads above water.