How can employee benefits help your staff in a cost-of-living crisis?

The “cost of living crisis” is probably the most frequently used expression of 2022 and potentially now in 2023.

In short, there are two ways we can help our employees. We can either increase their pay or reduce their costs.

Increasing employees pay is a costly solution which may not be possible financially for all employers. This solution also may not help employees very much after their tax and national insurance contributions.

Supporting employees with their costs can be a more effective and impactful alternative. This can also be done without attracting tax and national insurance contributions.

Employee benefits are something most of us have heard of, but do we really know what they are? And more importantly, do we know how they can help members of staff?

  1. Employee benefits include discounts at supermarkets and high street stores

Despite food prices increasing regularly, around 85% of people in the UK are now consciously spending less on food shopping as a result of the cost-of-living crisis. A great solution to this is providing your staff with discounts at supermarkets. With MyBenefitsZone, “My Perks” allows your employees to purchase discounted e-vouchers for a range of supermarkets and high street retailers. With the average weekly food shop increasing regularly, providing your team with a percentage off their weekly shop can make a big difference.

2. Mental health services

Recent research presented a worrying statistic that 70% of us feel our financial situation impacts our mental health. Meaning now could be a more important time than ever to provide your staff with mental health support. With MyBenefitsZone, your staff can choose from a range of counselling services including specialist bereavement and workplace counselling. There are even a range of 24/7 support helplines to choose from.

3. Gyms and health clubs

Since entering the cost-of-living crisis, individuals are thinking twice about their direct debits. In 2022, 1.2 million gym memberships alone were cancelled. As we all know, these memberships provide a great gateway to improving both physical and mental health so your team having to cancel their memberships can have a big impact. Providing access to gym discount schemes seems old hat but is on the rise and can often be set up with minimal cost.

4.Health cash plan

Maintaining optimum levels of health is key for your employees personal and work lives. With the current financial strains, your staff may be putting off their regular check-ups such as opticians, dental, physiotherapy and audiology appointments. However, the health cash plan allows your employees to claim back on their everyday medical expenses. Not only does this encourage your team to attend these appointments but it can also lead to absences being kept to a minimum.

5. Financial support services

Financial health is more important than ever. Whether your staff need financial advice, learn how to budget and save money or find out if they are owed a tax refund in just a few clicks, MyBenefitsZone are here to support your team through these uncertain times.

6. Cost of living vouchers 

Cost of living vouchers are a great way to add value to an employee’s everyday expenses. A small amount can go along way, a £20 per month supermarket voucher, for instance, can go a long way to the monthly food bill. Paper or e-voucher schemes are available and are proving to be invaluable in the fight to help combat the cost of living crisis.

As you can see, there are numerous ways you can help your staff through these uncertain times, these can be cost effective but still have a huge impact. If you would like to find out more about how we help clients address the cost of living crisis and support their employees, contact us today and we will be happy to help.