11 Ways to Support Employees During the Cost-of-Living Crisis

Written by: Lucy Walters
Published on: 3 Nov 2022

Cost of Living CrisisA report by Totaljobs found that in the UK, 47% of workers are living ‘payslip to payslip’, with 36% saying their current salary doesn’t enable them to have a good quality of life.

Despite inflation reaching a 40-year high, the report also found that of the 58% of employers who were able to increase their employees’ salaries over the last year, 35% of pay rises were between 1-5%, which is lower than the current rate of inflation.

Even before the current cost of living crisis, one in eight UK workers already lived in poverty. With 16% of businesses not taking any measures to help staff with the rising cost of living, there is much more to be done to support employees – and you don’t need the biggest budget to do this.

In this article, we highlight 11 ways to support employees with the rising cost of living, helping you to maintain a happy, healthy, and productive workforce…

Offer a Fair Salary

Over half of UK workers say a pay rise in line with inflation would help to better manage the rising cost of living. If you aren’t able to offer this, you should still ensure the salaries you offer are fair, equal, and part of a package that’s competitive in other ways.

Support Career Progression

Help your employees in the long-term by supporting their progression up to higher pay scales, helping them to increase their income whilst also improving your retention rates. Make sure employees know exactly what they need to do progress and provide them with ongoing support to achieve their goals.

Rethink the Benefits you Offer

You should be regularly reviewing the benefits you offer to ensure you’re meeting your employees’ changing needs. Benefits that could help employees during the cost-of-living crisis include:

  • Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) aimed at helping employees through providing access to online resources, counselling services, legal advice, financial advice, and more.
  • Salary sacrifice schemes to allow employees to pay for things through their company payroll in order to reduce the amount of tax paid.
  • Company Sharesave scheme, allowing employees to purchase discounted company shares and sell these at a later date.  
  • Remote working options to reduce commuting costs.
  • Cycle-to-work scheme, secure bike sheds, discounted rail/bus fares, and electric charging points to help employees with the rising cost of petrol.
  • Discounts on things such as food and drink, electronics, home appliances, gym memberships, personal care, and entertainment through companies such as Perkbox.
  • Opportunity to sell unused holiday days.
  • Free or subsidised snacks, drinks, and meals.
  • Discounts on retail, leisure, entertainment and health and wellbeing products/services.

Give Remote Employees a Portable Setup

Where possible, give your remote employees a set up that’s easily portable. For example, provide them with a laptop rather than an entire computer. This way, if they want to take the pressure off their electricity and heating bills by working in a coworking space, a local coffee shop or a friend’s house, they can do so easily. You could also have a designated day of the week where no meetings take place to make it easier to work in public or coworking spaces.

Consider a 4-Day Work Week

Trialling a 4-day work week can be a great way of giving remote employees a break from having to run their laptops and heat their homes to work. For office workers, a 4-day week can also help to reduce commuting and childcare costs as well as other work-related costs.  

Introduce a Monetary Recognition Scheme

Consider introducing a system that allows employees to earn vouchers/money through gaining recognition from employees and managers. This supports your employees whilst also helping to boost morale amongst your team.

Personalise Rewards

Instead of sending every employee the same hamper at Christmas, ask everyone what they really need. Although some might love to receive a hamper, others may prefer a gift card or money instead. You can still spend the same on each employee, but you’ll be rewarding them in a way that supports them individually.

Increase Mental Health Support

Financial pressure is the top cause of stress outside of work, with those experiencing financial stress being twice as likely to experience suicidal thoughts than those who don’t. Think about how you can increase mental health support for your employees during the cost-of-living crisis, with things such as:

  • Introducing mental health first aiders
  • Providing access to counselling/therapy services
  • Organising social events that get employees out of the house
  • Ensuring remote employees stay connected to their colleagues
  • Introducing mental health days
  • Normalising conversations around mental health, and training your managers on how to do this

Provide Access to Financial Support

Provide your employees with easy access to financial support helplines and education – and don’t make these resources hard to find! Companies such as Lifetime and Bippit can provide your employees with valuable tools to improve their financial wellbeing and education. If you do decide to use platforms such as these, remember to regularly remind employees where and how they can find support, and make them easily accessible for everyone.

Improve Your Expenses Process

If you have employees who pay for things such as travel out of their own pockets and claim these expenses back at the end of the month, think of how you can improve this process for them. Not everyone can afford to wait for these expenses to be reimbursed, so consider how things such as using a company credit card could make the process less of a financial burden.  

Allow Employees to Give Back

Allow your employees to give back and help those who are struggling outside of your organisation. Whether your employees want to volunteer at a food bank or support their family and friends with things like childcare, be flexible and work with them to give them time to make a difference outside of work. 


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