Unprecedented times require unprecedented solutions, and – love him or loathe him – Chancellor Rishi Sunak certainly can’t be accused of sitting back and doing nothing.
His recent Mini-Budget contained a range of innovative measures that should be on the radar of employers because they could both increase their proportions of younger workers and present opportunities for liaising with employees of all ages to remind them of generous governmental offers available.
Businesses will be given £2,000 for each new apprentice that they hire under the age of 25 – in addition to the existing £1,000 payment already available for new traineeships for 16 to 18 year olds.
A two billion pound “kickstart” scheme will also help to create jobs by paying most of the wages of 16 to 24 year olds at risk of long-term unemployment who firms agree to hire for six months.
Altogether, investment in traineeships will reach £111 million during this financial year – a trebling of the original scale. The messages that we have been putting over about adapting to the needs of Gen Z have therefore never been more important.
Members of this cohort place great importance on full transparency and access to the best technology. Having grown up with their lives revolving around mobile phones, the internet and social media, they are used to cross-referencing diverse sources of information to get to the bottom of issues, and can find it easier to talk online than in person.
The implications for employee benefits and the way they are communicated should therefore not be underestimated. Podcasts, videos, webinars and Twitter will all be important tools.
Don’t forget also that Gen Z has been growing up at a time when awareness of mental health issues has been increasing markedly, so employee assistance programmes (EAPs) and other relevant benefits are likely to be highly valued.
Some EAP providers now offer the option to ‘chat’ with mental health professionals via an online written messaging service, and some group risk providers are offering virtual health apps that can access GPs and other health practitioners via video link.
Additionally, because their inquisitive natures and penchants for self-help make them more likely to challenge initial medical opinions, Gen Z members are likely to set greater store than average on the availability of second medical opinion services on some group risk and health cash plan schemes.
This inquisitiveness also means that they could derive particular benefit from Chase de Vere’s range of financial education programmes.
These can be specifically tailored to suit your workforce and budget, and the relevant modules will include mention of new developments like those announced in the Mini-Budget to benefit current and potential homeowners.
The Stamp Duty threshold for residential property purchases has been immediately raised from £125,000 to £500,000 until March 31st next year, and homeowners and landlords will be able to apply this September for vouchers worth up to £5,000 (or £10,000 for low-income households) to pay for insulation and other energy-efficient measures.
Even employers who don’t wish to offer financial education courses can demonstrate a paternalistic approach by contacting employees to remind them of these and other opportunities.
For example, it could be easy for someone who has returned to the hurly-burly of office life to forget that they are entitled to eat for England at half price next month.
Under the innovative Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme, meals eaten out by adults and children at all participating venues from Monday to Wednesday during August will be 50% subsidised by the government – up to a maximum discount of £10 per head. Soft drinks are included but not alcohol.
Content correct at the time of writing and is intended for general information only and should not be construed as advice.