Home Business News Almost half of UK’s workforce planning to finance Christmas with debt this year

Almost half of UK’s workforce planning to finance Christmas with debt this year

by LLB Finance Reporter
13th Dec 23 11:57 am

Research from Perkbox, the global rewards and benefits platform, reveals almost half of UK workers (47%) plan on using debt to finance Christmas this year.

According to Perkbox’s survey of over 2,000 UK workers, the rising cost of living is dampening the festive spirit this year, with 21% expecting Christmas to be less magical.

Employees seeking out Christmas support

Amid ongoing financial pressures, workers are looking to their employers to help ease the burden. Yet, only 14% of workers believe their employer has the tools in place to help them enjoy Christmas this year – suggesting employers are falling short with their current support offerings.

Notably, of those with access to a rewards and benefits platform, almost a quarter (23%) of workers say their employer is helping them to enjoy Christmas. This is evidenced by proprietary data from Perkbox’s platform, with over 80,000 users, which saw a 27% increase in usage during its Black Friday promotions – a weekend many use to kick off their Christmas shopping.

The data also revealed the brands workers most want to save on – indicating what will likely be under the tree this year – with Amazon, Samsung, Apple, Curry’s and Wine52 topping the leaderboard for the most sought after promotions on Black Friday.

“The holiday season provides workers a moment to catch their breaths, celebrate and spend time with family and friends.  Unfortunately, this year workers are being squeezed by the cost of living crisis and expect to dedicate a bigger slice of their pay towards day-to-day necessities, leaving less for traditional holiday giving.  Employers do, however, have creative ways to help plug this gap in an impactful way.

“Seasonal rewards are a common solution, but our data shows that when provided with the right tools, workers will also take full advantage of employer funded discounts schemes. By offering meaningful individualised support for specific occasions, businesses can show they understand the challenges their people are facing, and in turn ensure workforces feel  both supported and appreciated.” comments Doug Butler, CEO of Perkbox.

Salaries aren’t just squeezed at Christmas 

Inflation has been stubbornly high throughout 2023, pushing workers to turn to alternative means to ease the financial strain. Reflecting this, further proprietary data from Perkbox’s platform shows workers are increasingly relying on employer funded discounts to support their weekly food shops.

Comparing the number of employer funded perks* between January 2023 and November 2023 for Aldi, Tesco and Sainsbury’s we can see:

  • Sainsbury’s redemptions increased by 51%
  • Tesco redemptions increased by 20%
  • Aldi redemptions increased by 19%

Butler comments further: “The holiday period should act as a catalyst for employers to put initiatives and structures in place to support their workforces all year round. It’s clear workers will take advantage of employer funded support, especially around necessities such as their weekly food shops.

“Businesses can effectively respond by offering a wide and varied selection of perks and benefits that support the needs of a diverse workforce.”

To help ease the burden on workers in the UK, Perkbox has enhanced the discounts it offers to users across numerous retailers. The new offering builds on Perkbox’s ‘Super Saver Week’ promotions which have already helped employees save over £20,000. Now, the average user could see a saving of at least £200 on their annual food bill using Perkbox discounts.

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