Two in five businesses in Northern Ireland support workers with cost-of-living crisis

Seamus McGranaghan
Seamus McGranaghan Seamus McGranaghan

NEARLY two in every five businesses in the north are currently offering additional benefits to staff to help them manage the cost of living crisis, a survey says.

A poll by Belfast commercial and employment lawyer O’Reilly Stewart in partnership with employment law training company Legal Island revealed that 37 per cent of bosses are offering either economic or alternative benefits in kind to help staff as the crisis looks set to deepen over the coming months.

And the poll found that of those businesses providing support, nearly half are offering financial assistance, with 42 per cent giving their staff one-off payments.

As well as meeting contractual pay rises, other employers here are offering support through benefits-in-kind, with 19 per cent consenting to second jobs and 8 per cent offering extra hours.

Seamus McGranaghan, director of commercial law at O’Reilly Stewart, said: “Families and individuals are facing increased bills and crippling costs that are undoubtedly going to have an impact over the coming weeks and months.

“At the same time, a turbulent economy, rising energy costs, increasing interest rates and rampant inflation is putting financial pressure on businesses which in turn impacts the support they can give to their workers.

“So it is encouraging to see over a third of employers here recognising the pressure that their staff are under with many offering support.

“From one off payments and loans to permitting second jobs, businesses who are taking decisive measures to support their employees should be commended as they navigate this extremely challenging time.”