More than 30 percent (33) of employers are planning to change employees’ contracts to freeze, defer or cancel pay increases, a new survey has found.
The snapshot survey of more than 100 UK employers, representing 750,000 employees, from the Reward & Employee Benefits Association (REBA), revealed a quarter of employers are also reducing paid hours.
The research found that while most employers (59 percent) have made no changes to contracts since the spread of COVID-19 hit the UK, a significant one in three employers plan to do so.
The most notable changes expected to employee contracts would be:
· Deferred/reduced pay rises (44 percent)
· Cancelled pay rises (31 percent)
· Reduced working hours (25 percent)
· Extended sabbaticals on offer (25 percent)
· Deferred or reduced bonuses (19 percent)
· Cancelled bonuses (13 percent)
· Reduced pension contributions (13 percent)
· Enforced unpaid leave (Six percent)
The REBA survey also found that employers have been proactive in using employee benefits and wellbeing programmes to support employees.
The association said that adding virtual GP services to employee benefits packages or extending these services to all staff is proving popular. Employers have indicated that they are putting out communications to remind workforces what employee benefits are on offer and how to access them.
Employee assistance programmes (EAPs), which are common in the UK, are being extended to more workforces globally or being upgraded to a better quality service. Again, signposting and re-communicating the existence of the EAP is a popular action by many employers.