Unlike her predecessor, new British PM Liz Truss has come in strong with a price cap on energy tariffs for all households – now capped at £2,500 annually, for the next two years.
The cap is not on energy companies’ tariff increases, it must be noted – it just means that the Government will pay any remaining shortfall. This still puts a monthly energy bill at £208 per month for every household: still prohibitively high, and likely to cripple those on the national minimum wage or who work part-time.
In addition and opposition to this price cap, however, Truss has made it clear in interviews and announcements that, despite the energy freeze costing the Government £150billion in tax income, she will not be granting tax relief to those who need it most.
In fact, her national insurance cuts will benefit Britain’s wealthiest households by 250 times more than the poorest – estimated, from her initial comments last week, to give tax relief of about £1,800 for the wealthiest households, and just £7 for the poorest.
With that in mind, it’s going to be a cold winter for most British workers.
What can companies do to help?
It’s self-evident that if your employees are worried about finances, they won’t perform as well. As the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute reported, a study conducted by Sodexo found that, of workers aged between 18 and 34-years-old, a full 36% admitted that recent money worries have impacted negatively on their work productivity.
While all households worried about money will likely have looked at areas where they can spend less, many workers will also start looking at their remuneration package, and to seek pay rises or other forms of financial help.
With this in mind, Sky Group, which employs 32,000 people worldwide, announced last week that it will give 70% of all staff across the UK and Ireland £1,000 to help ease the pressures of the cost-of-living crisis.
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In a press release, the company said: “We know the rising cost-of-living and energy prices are impacting our people across the UK and Ireland, and we want to help those who need it the most. This is just one step we are taking to support our employees.
“We are also providing our people with access to hundreds of discounts on everyday items like groceries, clothes and electricals. These savings make a material difference to our people and we know thousands are already making everyday savings through the [employee benefits] programme,” the statement read.
The payment will most likely be for the lower earners in Sky’s UK and Ireland operations, and will be made in two instalments: one in the October 2022 payroll and one in January 2023 – both months when Ofgem has announced the latest energy tariff increases.
Other companies helping out
In addition to Sky, there are a few other organisations in the UK who are lending a hand. Nationwide bank announced that 11,000 staff members (those earning less than £35,000 per year) will receive a £1,200 bonus to aid with tax hikes and record high inflation.
And German grocery store Aldi is giving its warehouse staff a nine per cent pay increase this year – which will just about cover the inflation increase.
Are you thinking of creative ways to help your staff stress less about money? Let us know in the comments!