The financial wellbeing of staff in any business benefits not only employees, but the business as a whole. Financially secure staff tend to be more loyal to their employer – and a happier workforce can only mean a happier and more productive (and profitable!) business.
While many businesses have increased staff wages during the cost of living crisis, some companies may not be able to afford to do so. Keeping open lines of communication, so that employees and employers understand each other’s financial situation is important, so here are some other practical ways that employers can support staff during the current crisis.
A salary sacrifice scheme can help save your employees money when buying certain services, such as childcare and transport. It allows the cost of the scheme to be deducted at source for a PAYE employee, avoiding income tax from being applied to the sacrificed amount. The sacrificed salary amount is then provided to the employee as a non-cash benefit, and can cover a range of things including childcare, transport, equipment for home and childcare in the workplace.
Full details of the scheme and how to implement it can be found here.
Food & Drink Subsidies
Food costs have increased significantly and providing free or subsidised food whilst at work can be a helpful employee benefit. You can offer free or a subsidised menu of good quality food and drink, but it must be offered to all staff members in order to comply with government guidelines. While it is expected that the subsidised food will be of reasonable value,. higher value items like champagne or luxury dishes may be deemed unreasonable by HMRC and subject to tax and NI as a benefit in kind.
Learn more about employee meal benefits click here
The costs of travel, parking, extra childcare, social activities and buying food and drink when working outside the home can have a significant impact on finances, so it is no surprse that, according to the Office for National Statistics, 49% of people reported spending less while they worked from home during the pandemic.
Offering staff the option of a hybrid working solution could help to reduce their commuting and the associated costs.
Selling Back Unused Holiday
Allowing staff to sell back their unused holiday days could boost their finances. This may not be common practice in many businesses, but offering it could be a win-win for both the business and employee. Typically, a business could allow unused holiday days to be swapped for a PAYE payment for the amount of the unused time.
However, you must ensure that this option is offered to all employees.
Debt Management Advice
If you know of an employee that needs help with debt, there are a number of organisations that can help them get back on top of their finances for free:
And finally, please spread the word about the BOSS Business Supplies Charity. We are here to help people in need in our industry, so do ask your colleagues to get in touch with us if they are in financial difficulty.