In response to the cost of living crisis, which has seen inflation hit a 40-year peak recently, the government has introduced a range of measures to help the poorest in society. But what are these measures, and how can you support your staff during this time?
The measures are a mix of broad help for all households and specific payments for those who have struggled most during this period. Across the UK, all households will be given a grant of £400 to reduce energy bills from October. There is no need to apply, and the discount will be made automatically by your energy supplier. In other words, everyone across the country will have £400 knocked off of their energy bill from October. Over the course of six months from October, direct debit and credit customers will have the money credited to their account. Customers with pre-payment meters will have the money applied to their meter or paid via a voucher.
EAPs are a fantastic way to support your staff when it comes to the financial burden of the cost of living crisis. A vicious cycle tends to emerge when it comes to financial and mental health. A study at the University of Nottingham has shown that people who struggle with debt are more than twice as likely to suffer from depression. One of the symptoms of depression is incredibly low motivation. If you’re brain is telling you to not do anything, then chances are you’re not going to have the energy to deal with financial issues. If your finances worsen, you become more depressed. And so on, and so on. As an employer, this should be cause for concern. Your employees will only be productive if they have a healthy and effective work-life balance, and this work-life balance can only come about if the life part is an relaxed as can be.
That is why compassionate, effective mental health and day-to-day life support is so important to have on an organisational level. In fact, around 45% of sickness absence is directly related to mental health, and 13.8 million working days are lost each year due to stress, anxiety and depression. Not only does mental health massively impact your employees, but it undoubtedly leads to unnecessary cost and a significant loss of productivity. That is why it is so important that your employees have compassionate, effective and responsive mental health services that they can rely on. If you have not already done so, it is up to you as an employer to take preventative and proactive action to maintain your employees’ healthy mental wellbeing. The reward for getting this right is a happier, healthier and more productive workforce, and a more successful organisation.