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  • Dec 14, 2022

  • 7 min read


How can employees save cash during the cost of living crisis?

Economic changes and fallouts from the Covid 19 pandemic have meant that 2022 has been a bit of a rocky year for us all. With a fair bit of economic uncertainty, the energy crisis and a cost of living crisis, people across the UK are looking for new ways to save money.

Understandably, people are tightening their belts and cutting back on expenses, and they’re looking for ways to keep their hard earned money in their pockets. As well as saving through cutting back on spending, people are looking to their employers to see how they can save money through employee benefits schemes on offer.

New research from YouGov has found that more employees want cash-saving benefits from their employer, like salary sacrifice schemes, but the research shows that they’re not comfortable enough to ask for them.

What is the cost of living crisis?

The cost of living crisis is a period of time we’ve been living through in the UK since late 2021. It refers to a time when many households have had a drop in disposable income because of higher than usual rates of inflation which has made goods and services more expensive.

Put simply, lots of the things we need to live comfortably (like food and energy) are more expensive, but the money that we’re bringing in through our jobs of benefits hasn’t increased at the same level. This means that more people are finding they don’t have as much money to spend, and are looking for ways to make savings. Positively, inflation rates are expected to drop next year and continue to go down until 2025.

How can employers help their team save money?

Employers can sign up for employee benefits schemes which are often completely free to join, but give their employees access to amazing cash savings. It’s a no-brainer for employers to offer benefits schemes, as they can help to attract and retain top talent, as well as meet sustainability goals.

The recent YouGov survey asked over 2,000 people in full time employment what benefits they’d like their employer to offer. The research showed that over 70% of respondents said that saving money was the top priority when it comes to employee benefits on offer.

Let’s look at a few of our favourite ways that employers can help their teams save money.

Salary sacrifice car schemes

Electric car salary sacrifice schemes can save your team upwards of £1,200 a year if they take a brand-new car through you as their employer, rather than taking out a personal car lease.

Employees can also make savings on Income Tax and National Insurance when they take a car through a salary sacrifice scheme, like the one we offer at Octopus Electric Vehicles.

Because we’re committed to helping more people make the switch to EVs, we include even more than just the car, to help drivers save more money. Our package includes a free home charger, free charging credit (whether you charge at home or on the road), full servicing, maintenance and repairs plus roadside assistance. The whole package is designed to make it easy for your teams to switch to EVs and for you to reduce your carbon footprint all in one go. Win-win!

Joining our salary sacrifice scheme is totally free, and our team can get your company set up in as little as two weeks. Get started today.

Employee perks

Employers can sign up to employee benefits schemes like Perks at Work and Perkbox to give their teams access to deals and discounts on shopping across loads of categories including electronic goods, food shopping, travel, fitness and more.

These employee benefit platforms will sometimes also offer learning and development opportunities, as well as mental health and wellbeing content to support your employees in a more holistic way. These platforms offer an easy way for employers to give cash savings to their team.

Health benefits

We all want our teams to be fit and healthy. Health is not only important for your team to be able to perform well in their jobs, but it’s also important so they have a rich and fulfilling family and home life.

To help them stay in top shape and save money we can introduce healthcare benefits - such as free eye tests, dental cover, health care cover and even access to gym memberships. These benefits are really popular with employees and they (unsurprisingly) help to reduce sickness absence among your team.

Cycle to work schemes

The cycle to work scheme is a way for your team to get access to a bike, paid for through their gross salary. The idea is to help them switch from driving to work, to cycling, to make savings on fuel and to protect the environment.

Cycle to work schemes are like electric car salary sacrifice schemes, but for bikes. Your team will also make savings on their National Insurance and Income Tax when they take a bike through a cycle to work scheme.

What can you do to support your employees during the cost of living crisis?

It’s important to be proactive with employee benefits to show your team that you care about them and their wellbeing. If you’re waiting around for your team to tell you what they want, you’ll be waiting a long time. The research showed that only half of employees feel comfortable asking their boss for additional benefits.

Despite clear employee preferences for saving money, less than one in five UK companies offer salary sacrifice for EVs as an employee benefit.

Once employees fully understood the benefits of salary sacrifice and that we offer a fully maintained EV, insurance, charger and thousands of free miles, nearly three quarters said they would like our scheme on offer at their workplace.

Commenting on the research, Fiona Howarth, CEO of Octopus Electric Vehicles, says: “It’s a really difficult time for many households, so it’s no surprise that people are prioritising financial support from their employer. An EV salary sacrifice scheme can save employees thousands of pounds on their car costs, making an electric car a possibility for many that couldn’t afford to buy one.”

“For many people, the idea of speaking to their boss or HR team about employee benefits can be pretty daunting, so we’ve created an info pack and are on hand to make it as easy as possible. It’s super easy and zero cost to set up EV salary sacrifice - to help your team save cash - it’s a win win. It can even save the business money. Ultimately, most companies want to create a great place to work - and armed with info on these benefits, we find employees are having great conversations. ”

Read the full article here.