With record inflation, the most pressing concern among employees is a reduction in the purchasing power of their wages, and 45% of them share this concern. 7 out of 10 employees plan to reduce their spending this year due to rising prices, especially on energy and food. 30% of people are also going to ask their employers for a pay rise in the coming weeks and months. These are the results from the Up Czech Republic Employee Barometer from among more than 1,000 respondents from domestic companies.
The reduction in the real purchasing power of wages is currently clearly the biggest concern among Czech employees. 45% of them currently share this concern. In second place is the fear of losing one’s job, which 25% of people now have. At least a tenth of the employees are concerned about cutbacks in bonuses and benefits, the deterioration of the working atmosphere and working conditions, and increased workloads.
“Every day we see how the prices of staple foods continues to rise seemingly without end, and this phenomenon of fear is affecting the psyche of all Czech households. The results of the Barometer also show that the fear of an insufficient wage is currently much more widespread than the fear of job loss. So, if companies don’t want to lose their people, they will have to try to help them in some way,” says Stéphane Nicoletti, CEO of Up Česká republika, which specializes in employee care.
Will it be enough?
Continuing price increases are forcing employees themselves to react in addition to the companies they work for. 30% of them are going to ask their employer for a pay rise in the coming weeks or months. The second most frequently mentioned request is, as was the case at the beginning of the year, the addition of or an increase in benefits.
However, the new Barometer also shows that employees either do not believe that they will receive a pay rise, or they think that their pay rise will not be enough. As much as 70% of them also plan to cut back and limit their spending. “Keeping up with current inflation is unrealistic for the vast majority of businesses. Therefore, more and more employers, in an effort to retain employees, will look for alternatives to help them without ruining the company,” says Nicoletti.
Cutting back in the (in)correct places
People usually plan to save on several items from the family budget at the same time. More than a third of employees are planning to cut back on energy and food. At the same time, the dedicated catering allowance in the form of electronic or paper meal vouchers is currently among the most sought after. 36% of people would now welcome the introduction of or an increase to their catering allowance provided by their employer. This is about more than just the financial aspect of this allowance.
“International research has shown that if the employer provides access to regular catering, there is, for example, a lower incidence of health problems among employees, both seasonal as well as chronic non-infectious diseases, which used to be called ‘lifestyle’ diseases. It helps prevent obesity and other serious diseases. Therefore, quality catering is in the interest of both the employer and the employees,” elaborates RNDr. Pavel Suchánek.
Only to and from work?
Another area where a large part of the employees plan to save is on holidays. 31% of employees plan to cut back on their holiday expenses this year due to rising prices. It is no wonder that the holiday allowance is currently among the most requested. Like the catering allowance, 36% of people would welcome it.
Almost 30% of employees will also cut back on leisure activities such as sports or culture. A fifth of employees would now welcome an allowance directed in this direction. “Physical and mental resilience are key to our ability to face and deal with the current difficult times. In addition to the usual benefits and support for sports, benefits focused on mental health are becoming more popular. Through our eBenefity card, employers have also started to offer the ability to consult with a psychologist or various courses in stress management techniques.” says Petra Prchlíková, Up ČR Sales Director.