A study published by HR support company Citation has revealed that nearly half of British workers are worried about job losses.
Meanwhile, 31 percent of respondents said that they were working unpaid overtime in order to reduce the chances of being made redundant.
Anxieties about the future are not limited to workers, with 79 percent of business owners concerned about the future of their businesses as rising prices reduce profits.
The survey reflects general concerns about trading conditions across the British economy. The government has offered a series of support measures, including subsidised energy bills for business. However, the announcement that the current system will be replaced with an “energy discount scheme” in March of this year has provoked some organisations – such as the Federation of the Small Businesses – to claim that help provided by the new scheme will be ‘immaterial’ to firms already struggling with rising costs.
Despite this, the government has pointed to the ‘unprecedented package of support’ provided to non-domestic users through the winter, with £18 billion set aside to help businesses locked into contracts signed before the spike in energy prices. The new energy discount scheme, it said, would strike a ‘balance between supporting businesses over the next 12 months and limiting taxpayer’s exposure to volatile energy markets, with a cap set at £5.5 billion.’
The Workers Union Says…
Escalating costs often hit small businesses – and their employees – the hardest. But we cannot be blind to the fact that workers everywhere are facing huge challenges. As well as affecting productivity, economic strife has an impact on the mental health of the nation, with recent estimates of days lost to stress and anxiety totalling nearly 17 million.
While the interconnected nature of the world economy means that neither government nor business can be expected to solve these issues in isolation, it is abundantly clear that workers should not give employers their time for free. The hours outside of work are a precious resource that helps people to rest and pursue other interests. Workers who feel under obligation to stay on without compensation are not only being exploited, they are losing the opportunity to focus on other – equally important – areas of their lives.