The results of a new survey have revealed that 4.5 million (1 in 10) of UK employees are considering taking on a second job to survive the cost of living crisis.
The research, which was commissioned by insurance firm Unum, also found that 5.4 million people (1in 5) plan to kick off the new year looking for jobs with better remuneration and benefits.
The news comes against a backdrop of high interest rates and the looming reduction in government support for businesses.
In a statement released this morning, a spokesperson for The Workers Union said: ‘With the cost of living starting to bite, we should not be surprised by the number of workers on the lookout for second jobs. But there’s a quality of life issue here that cannot be ignored. Juggling work, bills and home life is already having a serious impact on working people. Many of them are struggling with anxiety and mental health issues. That so many feel obliged to take on another job is a tragedy our country urgently needs to address.’
Unum’s survey comes at a time when companies are under pressure to deliver additional benefits to employees. As early as June last year, The Workers Union highlighted the efforts of some companies to provide cost-of-living payments staff. However, many firms that employ workers on lower wages have failed to increase their pay.
Last month, a survey published by recruitment giants Randstad revealed that just 23 percent of businesses had offered workers financial support – such as a pay rise – outside of the usual annual pay review.
The Workers Union Says…
In times of economic turbulence, anger and suspicion often dominate the agenda. While many see this as an inevitable part of the game, the only real inevitability is that communication, negotiation and resolution get buried along the way.
To avoid the stalemates that accompany most disputes, company chiefs need to take a step back and consider the importance of supporting their staff through this difficult period. They could start by putting the principles of communication and negotiation into practice with better support lines and a direct attempt to ask workers what they need. In some cases the resolution will be extra payments, but those firms who cannot offer that option could consider other approaches such as additional hybrid working, ‘mental health break’ days or financial counselling.
Whatever is on the table, it must challenge the idea that second jobs are workers’ only option.