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My morning routine is pretty standard. I wake up, sleepily make some coffee and pop the radio on. I get ready for the world listening to the day’s top stories, many of which contain details of the cost of living crisis.
These stories are harrowing, and I’m not ashamed to admit I frequently (and unhelpfully) choke up while putting on my mascara. They are stories of real despair and destitution, a battle of ordinary people trying to live well.
The people are not unemployed – not that unemployed individuals would be any more deserving of this fate – but instead most are active in the workforce. That means in your workforce right now there are most probably people who are in debt; worried about how to pay their bills; in fuel poverty; reducing the number of washes they put on a week; unscrewing light bulbs to save on electricity; relying on food banks or skipping meals all together.
It is not happening to someone else on another continent. It’s happening to people you know and have a responsibility as HR to take care of. Latest figures put inflation rates at 9%, an astronomical 40 year high, and a recession looks to be on the cards.
There may not be an endless pot of money to top up salaries, but there are ways to help. Perhaps there could be better signposting to arities, more flexible wage payment s or opportunities to claim hardship debt charities, more flexible wage payment options or opportunities to claim hardship loans. HR is the people profession, so we must do what we can to help our people.
That’s why HR magazine has launched a cost of living learning hub where readers can keep up to date on the latest news and resources around the crisis, and share with the community how they’re best supporting employees. I firmly believe we should be constantly searching for solutions to this crisis. It should never be old news that this is the state of affairs. HR
Jo Gallacher Editor, HR magazine
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4 HR May/June 2022