Research from leading employee benefits provider Unum UK, conducted by independent consultancy, Censuswide, has revealed that almost half of UK workers received no employer support to help them manage with the cost-of-living during 2023 despite UK workers continuing to feel the pressure of rising costs.

This is a 12 percentage point increase from last year, when a third (35%) of workers said this was the case when asked the same question.

Compounding these concerning findings, 69% of workers admitted that the general cost of living has now become their biggest day-to-day concern, up from 61% last year.

Amongst those who did receive support from their employers this year, pay rises remained the most common type of help. However, numbers here were slightly down with 25% of employees having an increase in wages, compared to 32% in 2022.

The data reveals that workers are seeking new ways to try to manage their finances — 24% are looking for a second job and 18% are looking to move to a new role with higher pay or better benefits.

This need to increase their income is felt most by those aged between 16-34, with 27% planning to move jobs with a higher salary or benefits and 28% planning to find a second job to make ends meet.  Significantly, 20% say they are seeking help with their mental health as a direct result of concerns about the cost of living.

Employers need to act!

Unum UK’s research reflects a growing concern about the financial strain faced by UK workers. The sharp increase in the number of employees receiving no cost-of-living support from their employers, now at nearly half, indicates a worrisome trend.

The distressing revelation that 20% are seeking help for their mental health due to cost-of-living concerns signals a critical need for employers and policymakers to address the broader economic challenges affecting the well-being of the workforce.

Jane Hulme, HR Director at Unum UK commented:

These results reveal a growing gap in employer support leading staff to stretch themselves in a bid to make ends meet. Offering a strong employee benefits package that supports employees physically, emotionally, and financially is key to enable a happy, healthy and productive workforce.

Jane Hulme, HR Director at Unum UK


Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website | + posts

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.