One in four (25%) employers cannot currently afford to make a payment to support staff through the cost-of-living crisis, according to insurance broker Partners&.
Its survey of more than 160 senior HR, finance, payroll, and c-suite professionals highlighted that nine in every 10 employers expected either a small (38%) or significant (52%) increase in the number employees experiencing financial difficulties during the upcoming winter period, and almost two-thirds (65%) were already aware of staff struggling financially.
Overall, a third had already made (11%), agreed to make (3%) or were considering making (19%) a one-off cost-of-living payment to support employees through the crisis.
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Meanwhile, a quarter (25%) said they already offer some financial education services, with around 31% actively considering the introduction of such services in the autumn of 2022.
Steve Herbert, wellbeing and benefits director at Partners&, said: “Despite the government’s announcement of significant support for household energy costs, which should keep most household energy bills at around their current levels, it is clear that millions of working people are already struggling financially. While the appeal of a one-off payment is obvious, the reality is that the inflation crisis might persist not just through this winter, but perhaps as far as the middle of the decade.
“This raises the spectre of these apparent ‘one-off’ payments having to be repeated perhaps several times, and I do wonder how many organisations are financially robust enough to sustain such an approach, particularly if the Bank of England predictions of a year-long recession prove to be correct? Partners& would therefore encourage employers to build a package of measures that also includes other elements to secure financial wellbeing for employees.”