Firms like Moneysupermarket.com, Barclays, Aviva, HSBC, Rolls-Royce, and Lloyds Banking Group have given employees at least £1,000 each to help with the cost-of-living crisis. However, Office for National Statistics data shows that firms offering handouts are in the minority because only five percent of businesses with 250 employees or more are offering the hardship bonus.
Most private-sector workers are getting no extra help at all. The ONS found just one percent of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) assisting staff.These companies account for 99 percent of businesses in the UK.
The ONS added that 12 percent of employers increased worker pay in June.
Inflation is at 9.4 percent and expected to peak at 13 percent-plus.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi met with the bosses of electricity suppliers for talks over the escalating cost of keeping the lights on at homes and businesses.The talks came ahead of regulator Ofgem’s expected large increase in the energy price cap later this month.
Union body the TUC says it expects energy bills to carry on rising so that next year they will be equivalent to two months’ wages.
Average take-home pay after tax is forecast by the Bank of England to be £2,054 per month in 2023, whereas the predicted cost of energy bills per household is £4,200.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said the Government must get business leaders and unions round the table to develop a coordinated response to the cost-of-living crisis, just like it did tackling the spread of Covid.
Ms O’Grady said: “This requires a pandemic-scale intervention. Ministers must cancel the catastrophic rise to energy bills this autumn.”
According to specialist insurer Simply Business, 54 percent of SME owners fear their businesses will collapse due to rising fuel and energy prices.
It added that 59 percent of them want the Government to review or cut the energy price cap.