Words by Smiley Team
As the cost of living rises, businesses are taking steps to ensure their staff are as protected as they can be.
For some, that might include giving flexible working arrangements, and for others it's giving staff a lump sum – or "cost of living bonus" – to help them deal with any financial struggles.
Here are five businesses who've laid out a plan to help their employees during this time.
Aira, a digital marketing company, is giving their employees a £2,000 cost of living bonus, which will be given out over the course of 12 months, between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2022. It'll be available to all employees, regardless of how long they have been there, and it will even be available to new employees who join in the next 12 months (though it will be prorated based on how long they’ve been there).
“This isn’t a bonus, and it’s genuinely meant to help with the increased cost of living that we’re experiencing, such as increasing energy and fuel prices,” said Aira. “We don’t have any plans to do this again, but we’ll continue to do what we can to support all of our employees and balance this against the long-term financial stability of Aira.”
Heatable have recently given all their employees a 10% pay rise to help keep up with inflation and the cost of living crisis. As inflation is currently at 9.1% – a 40-year high – not only does this cover the inflation, but gives a small pay increase.
"During these tough economic times, we saw the daily impact inflation was having on our staff, including struggling to pay for the commute to work and saw it as our moral obligation to adjust our pay in line with current inflation figures," co-founder, Ben Price, told Smiley News.
“Since the turbulence is not yet over and inflation is not likely to stabilise for some time, we aim to regularly review our salary and payment structures every 6 months."
Parfetts, a wholesaler, is giving their employees a £500 cost of living bonus to help with rising costs, which will be paid tax-free. Employees will also see a 2% annual bonus, though those working for the Aintree and Middlesborough depots will receive a 4% bonus, as the highest performing site.
“As an employee-owned business our people are at the heart of everything we do,” said Guy Swindell, the joint managing director of Parfetts. “It is the hard work and dedication of everyone at Parfetts that drives our continued success. We wanted to look at how we can support people with the current cost of living crisis and took the decision to pay an additional bonus this year.”
Lloyds Bank is awarding employees on grades A-G a £1,000 cost of living bonus. This will be paid in conjunction with their August paycheck, and targets all of the staff below senior level.
"This support is designed to help you during these uncertain economic times and is in addition to the steps we've already taken to increase the support available both to you and our customers,” said the memo to staff which announced this bonus.
Rolls-Royce have offered their 14,000 employees a £2,000 cost of living bonus. However, 11,000 of those employees are unionised and, while Rolls-Royce described the bonus as “fair” and a “good deal”, the union in question rejected the bonus.
"This is a good deal for our colleagues that is fair and competitive, with an immediate cash lump sum to help them through the current exceptional economic climate,” said a spokesperson for Rolls-Royce.
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