Nine out of ten (92%) employers are concerned about how the cost-of-living crisis is impacting their employees, according to a survey conducted among the membership of GRiD, the group risk protection industry body.
All of the members surveyed (100%) believe that employers are worried about how the cost-of-living crisis is affecting employees’ mental health. Respondents believe the impact on financial wellbeing is the second area of most concern (91%) for employers. Additionally, due to the cost-of-living crisis, the social wellbeing of staff is believed to be a concern for 56% of employers, and physical wellbeing for 35% of employers. As inflation rates are due to continue rising, fears surrounding the mental welfare of employees is unlikely to ease anytime soon.
Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, comments on the findings:
The figures paint a very striking picture of how the cost of living adds to the mental load of employees. By demonstrating their genuine concern and providing practical help, employers have a real opportunity to engage with their staff, many of whom may not have fully understood or utilised their employee benefits before.
Employers looking to increase benefits
Ninety-three percent of respondents believe employers are looking to increase benefits or offer additional support to help employees during the cost-of-living crisis, but the research also highlights the possibility of employers’ lack of awareness about the relevant support available within group risk benefits (employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness).
Only 12% strongly agree that employers know about the specific support for mental health embedded within group risk benefits, such as counselling for financial stress, and building resilience, etc.
Similarly, only 5% strongly agree that employers know about the specific support for financial health embedded within group risk benefits, such as budgeting and debt counselling, etc.
Offering such support will not only help employees individually but it will also mean a happier and healthier workforce, who will be more productive as they are not distracted by personal matters or be absent due to stress and ill health caused by financial strain. However, it’s vital that employers are aware of the support that exists, quite possibly within benefits they already offer.
Katharine Moxham continued:
There are a wealth of benefits included within group risk benefits that can provide support to huge numbers of employees. Many employers don’t know they are there and don’t realise they are free to access, so they don’t communicate this support to their staff.
It’s an honourable intention to consider increasing benefits or funding additional support to help employees at this time but employers will also find additional help and support that they don’t need to pay an extra penny for, if they utilise all the support available in their existing employee benefits, and particularly within group risk benefits. After all, employers are not immune from the current economic climate either with costs skyrocketing in many areas: group risk benefits may be one cost centre that doesn’t need to be increased.
Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.