Whilst the UK’s economy remains in a state of flux, there was some relief for squeezed salaries as we entered the second half of 2019.
According to the Office for National Statistics, there was an increase in public sector wages of an average of 3.9%; which on the surface is great news!
However, whilst that figure seems positive, the truth is that many salaries in the public sector are only just keeping pace with inflation and the rising cost of living. With recruitment and retention issues being felt across the public sector, especially in education and social care, what can HR managers do to help fill these vital roles we all rely on?
We wouldn’t be naive enough to think that an employee benefits scheme is going to cure all frustrations felt across the public sector’s stretched workforce. But, when done well, employee benefits can be a potent tool to help ease some of the financial and work/life pressures felt by public sector workers.
When budgets are tight, there are ways you can help improve the work/life balance for your employees without any additional cost.
For example, recent efforts by Nottingham City Council demonstrate how making work more flexible can reduce life pressures and childcare costs for staff. Through offering annual leave purchase where staff can buy extra holidays and hour reductions, they provided the option for more leisure or family time. As a further bonus, this award-winning scheme also cut the council’s national insurance bill at the end of each month due to the proportionately reduced salaries.
In comparison to the private sector, where employees are usually expected to pull extra hours as standard, flexible working hours and the freedom to take additional annual leave is a great perk to highlight during your public sector recruitment process.
Help your employees' pay go further
Discounts for employees are a popular benefit option across both the public and private sectors. By providing access to discounts on lifestyle costs such as groceries, entertainment, and retail, you can help make your place of work the top choice for job hunters.
The many applications of this employee benefit make it a hugely impactful option that appeals to a demographically diverse workforce. For example, Millennials would prefer experiential rewards, such as cinema tickets. In contrast, families with children may wish to use this benefit to reduce their weekly shopping bill - providing something that any diverse workforce can really benefit from.
Reduce travel costs and environmental impact
The cost of commuting is often a depressing but unavoidable regular expense people must put up with. However, the employers who help reduce this burden are often the ones who enjoy greater engagement and productivity as a result!
Show your commitment to your employees and the environment by offering incentives for purchasing ultra-low emission vehicles, which can see both you and your employees benefits from tax and national insurance savings.
On the other hand, you can also keep it simple with a cycle-to-work scheme; perfect for a locally-based workforce. Plus, it also helps make the commute cheaper, greener, and healthier for all.
Save time and money
If you are keen to implement a successful employee benefits scheme and work in the public sector, we are part of the ESPO framework, providing you with quick, simple, and competitive routes to procuring your employee benefits scheme.
Speak to us today to find out more about:
- Managed services provision for staff benefits
- Cycle to work salary sacrifice schemes
- Financial wellbeing schemes
- Technology product schemes
- Leisure and retail schemes
Alternatively, just hit the link below!