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Household bill support growing as employee benefit

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The number of businesses offering household bill support has increased 68-fold between 2021 and 2022, according to analysis of over 21 million job ads.

The research from Totaljobs also found job adverts highlighting instant wage access more than quadrupled in 2022.

Other benefits that appeared in significantly more job adverts included four day working weeks and a home working allowance, both more than doubling compared to the previous year.

Employee benefits favoured over pay rise by 41%

Totaljobs also conducted a survey which found employees place a lot of significance on benefits, as 41% said they would skip a pay rise to get their most desired benefit.

Childcare support (54%), commuting assistance (52%), full-time remote working (51%) and parental support (49%) were found to be the benefits most in demand.

However, a recent report from Ayming UK found that 29% of firms are likely to reduce benefits in 2023.

Julius Probst, European labour market economist at Totaljobs, said employers have to find a balance between attracting candidates in a labour shortage and making realistic financial decisions.

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: “It’s less a case of whether companies can afford to offer these benefits, and more can they afford not to.

“Whilst the job market remains resilient, there are still ongoing labour shortages and a fight for the best talent.”

Going beyond salary will be crucial for attraction, Probst added.

He said: “Now is the time to consider more holistic job offers that cater to the individual needs of candidates, especially for those hit hardest by the rise in everyday living costs. Such offers will be vital in retaining and attracting talent for the foreseeable future.”

David Wreford, compensation and benefits expert at Mercer, emphasised the importance of sustainable financial support and liveable wages.

He said: “Interim financial assistance during the cost of living crisis only has a temporary impact. There has been a permanent step-change in our costs and this will continue to fuel employee demands for higher pay.”

Totaljobs’ study found a higher salary would give 81% of workers greater job satisfaction, with the same amount saying it makes them more loyal to their employer.

No easy options in slow or no growth with skills shortage adding to the challenges

Wreford said: “Organisations are stuck between a rock and a hard place because we are heading into a flatter economy, yet there also remains a skills shortage.

“However, companies that practise empathy, transparency, clarity and honesty, even when the message isn’t palatable, will be the ones able to retain and attract the talent they need to succeed.”

Data was pulled from job postings on Totaljobs in February 2023 for following time periods between January 2021-2022 (for salary data) and January, February and March (for the benefits data). Insights from a UK worker perspective come for an additional survey of 5,000 UK workers conducted in March 2023.

 

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