New data sees supermarket savings top staff benefits, as cost of living bites

McCormack: benefits that help workers’ money go further are most valuable

UK workers are using company benefits and perks schemes for discounts and cash savings on day-to-day spending at supermarkets, to help cope with the soaring cost of living.

Analysis by HIVE360 of the trends in user downloads from its employee benefits app Engage, shows that last month, around 30,000 shopping and mobile discounts for supermarkets including Sainsburys, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons were made.

The findings are in-step with reports that the record high cost of living has already hit more than three-quarters of UK households, as David McCormack, CEO of the outsourced PAYE payroll, employee benefits and engagement company HIVE360 explains: “New data from The Office of National Statistics (ONS) reveals that just over 83% – or eight in 10 – of UK adults reported an increase in their cost of living in March.

“The impact of rising inflation is already hitting the financial resilience of the majority of households, and the situation is set to get harder as people feel the real financial impact of the steep hike in energy bills that took effect in April,” he says.

According to the ONS Report, 90% of adults reported an increase in the price of food shopping in early 2022 as the top reason for their increased cost of living, with gas or electricity bills and the rising cost of fuel at the pump also blamed.

The Engage app has an average of 200,000 user sessions each month, with levels of user engagement topping 80%. Employees taking advantage of its discounts are saving between £70 and £247 per week.

User data for March also reveals that workers accessed a portfolio of employee assistance services, with numbers up by 20% on February’s statistics for support from a GP, and counselling and general health and wellbeing services and advice via the app.

“Employee benefits that deliver instant financial savings on the everyday essentials like food and household goods are what staff want and need more than ever, and employee benefits providers and employers themselves need to ensure employees have easy access to savings and discount that represent tangible financial help wherever possible,” David says.

“The key lies in creating an employee benefits programme that is in-tune with what workers want, available when they need it most. The cost of living is making day-to-day living especially hard, so benefits that help workers’ money go further with savings on everyday spending are most valuable, as well as a powerful way to  boost the perceived value of hourly pay rates, staff loyalty and retention.

“Providing tools and benefits that include access to 24/7 confidential support for workers’ physical, mental and financial health and wellbeing must also be at the heart of a relevant employee perks and benefits programme, as well as company culture.  Employers should make simple changes to take advantage of the range of mobile tech tools focused on maximising employee engagement, with the type of benefits and rewards their workers want.”

The HIVE360 Engage app is provided as standard to businesses that outsource payroll and employment administration to the company. As well as My Training, the app includes My Health, My Money, My Discounts and My Work features. The app delivers information, support and resources such as 24/7 access to a personal doctor and mental health counsellors, gym memberships, thousands of high-street and online lifestyle, dining and insurance discounts, mobile phone savings, online training resources, and GDPR-compliant pay and pension information to support worker’s financial wellbeing.  

HIVE360 works with owner-managed and SME businesses, including permanent and temporary recruiters.