The cost of living crisis: 5 creative ways you can support your employees

Soaring inflation started making headlines at the turn of the year, rising to 7% in the year to March. But it’s predicted to get a lot worse and last beyond 2022. This means UK businesses and employees are facing double-digit inflation for the first time in 40 years. A crashing combination of factors will make life difficult for a lot of people but it’s also an opportunity to build loyalty by showing employees you’re there for them.

Here are four creative employee benefits that businesses can provide their staff to offset rising living costs and make every pound count.

Offer retail and discount schemes

With the cost of food rising, having the ability to claim a discount off a weekly shopping bill can really help salaries go a little bit further. There are also usually special discounts available for branded clothes retailers or even for expensive purchases such as home furnishings where a small discount can add up to a significant sum of money saved.

Selling annual leave

Taking annual leave to rest and recharge produces reinvigorated employees on their return and should always be encouraged. But, if it’s approaching the end of the annual leave period and people have unused holidays that they don’t really want to take, it could be a welcome option to be able to sell that leave back to the employer and see an increase in their wage that month.

Salary sacrifices

Asking employees to give up part of their pay every month may sound counter-intuitive but it can make financial sense. Budgets can be boosted and costs off-set if the money is used on cycle-to-work schemes, electric vehicle leasing, or interest-free season ticket loans.

Provide what you can tax-free

For example, staff working from home may qualify for a small tax rebate due to basic costs such as broadband and home-office furniture.

Promote health cash plans

If your company doesn’t already provide this employee benefit, the time is now for a health cash plan. If your company already has a health cash plan, now is the time to promote it. These allow you to support both employee health and financial wellbeing, providing money back on health services such as physiotherapy and purchases such as glasses.