Calculator in the cost of living crisis

Nearly half of UK workers received no cost-of-living support from their employer this year

  • 47% of employees surveyed say they have not received any employer support to help with the rising cost of living this year
  • 24% feel they need a second job to help make ends meet
  • 13% say they are seeking help with their mental health as a direct result of concerns about the cost of living 

Research from leading employee benefits provider Unum UK, conducted by independent consultancy, Censuswide, has revealed that almost half of UK workers received no employer support to help them manage with the cost of living during 2023 despite UK workers continuing to feel the pressure of rising costs. This is a 12 percentage point increase from last year, when a third (35%) of workers said this was the case when asked the same question. 

Compounding these concerning findings, 69% of workers admitted that the general cost of living has now become their biggest day-to-day concern, up from 61% last year.

Amongst those who did receive support from their employers this year, pay rises remained the most common type of help. However, numbers here were slightly down with 25% of employees having an increase in wages, compared to 32% in 2022. 

The data reveals that workers are seeking new ways to try to manage their finances — 24% are looking for a second job and 18% are looking to move to a new role with higher pay or better benefits. This need to increase their income is felt most by those aged between 16-34, with 27% planning to move jobs with a higher salary or benefits and 28% planning to find a second job to make ends meet.  Significantly, 20% say they are seeking help with their mental health as a direct result of concerns about the cost of living.

Jane Hulme, HR Director at Unum UK commented:

“These results reveal a growing gap in employer support leading staff to stretch themselves in a bid to make ends meet. Offering a strong employee benefits package that supports employees physically, emotionally, and financially is key to enable a happy, healthy and productive workforce. 

Given the figures for those aged 16-34 above, it’s no surprise that 34% of employees in this age group already report that they feel burnt out in 2023. Now is the time for employers to start considering the best and most effective benefits they can put in place. With employees reporting such a significant impact on their mental health, investing in resources in this area would be a beneficial place to start.”

This research was carried out by Censuswide between 2nd - 9th October 2023 amongst a nationally-representative sample of 3,025 full-time and part-time British employees.