#HR Trends and Insights

How on-demand pay can help employees as grocery prices soar

June 02, 2022

There are no denying groceries are considered an absolute necessity.

Unfortunately, the cost of food has skyrocketed this year, and higher food costs significantly impact household budgets.

If you’re an employer, you must consider how the rising cost of groceries will impact your workers. From a practical perspective, you likely understand that when your employees are worried about being able to afford one of life’s necessities, their ability to focus and function at work will be negatively affected. You care about your employees and want them to be as healthy as possible.

Thankfully, you can take steps to assist them during this challenging time. On-demand pay is a growing benefit that is offered to employees. Rather than worrying about how they will survive between paychecks, on-demand pay can give your employees instant relief.

Here is a look at how on-demand pay can help your employees as food costs continue to soar.

Near-record inflation

According to April 2022 Consumer Price Index data, food-at-home prices rose by one percent in April. That may not seem like much, but it is significant when placed in the context of an entire year. Over the course of a year, food-at-home prices rose by 10.8 percent. That is the most significant 12-month increase in food-at-home prices in about four decades.

Additionally, prices for items belonging to five of the six major food categories rose in April. Of the six major categories, the only group that saw a decrease in prices was fruits and vegetables.

Numerous factors may account for this trend. For instance, executives at Grocery Outlet have stated that inflation impacts supplier expenses. The more suppliers have to pay for everything from ingredients to labor, the more grocery prices will rise. There also appears to be little indication that inflation is likely to stop rising in the foreseeable future. It is unlikely grocery prices will stop rising as a result.

What is on-demand pay

On-demand pay is a great benefit to help employees out right now. On-demand pay replaces the two-week pay period and allows employees to receive their pay immediately after they have earned it.

So, if an employee earned $250 in a day, they could have access to the funds right away rather than waiting for the pay period to finish. Workers have less stress because they have access to funds in case of a financial emergency. They also don’t have to rely on services that will charge them high-interest rates to pay bills, including credit cards and payday loans.

Businesses are finding that on-demand pay is an excellent recruitment and retention tool. Younger workers are used to getting things on demand. Getting your pay fast rather than waiting is a benefit that can win over candidates who are deciding among multiple job offers. In fact, about 79 percent of employees surveyed by Visa said on-demand pay could lead them to another company.

How employers can help

More and more food banks are experiencing increased demand for services as food becomes more expensive. That has created an opportunity for employers to respond accordingly.

If you’re an employer, there is strong reason to believe your workers are not financially prepared for an emergency, even when the cost of groceries and other such necessary purchases is low. With grocery prices rising, this problem is only more troubling. If a worker incurs an emergency expense for which they are not financially prepared, they may struggle because additional income is going toward groceries.

On-demand pay solutions yield benefits for you and your employees that will persist long after grocery prices return to more stable levels. With the on-demand pay model, employees can request payment for wages earned as soon as they earn them, literally putting your workers in a position to put food on the table immediately.

AnytimePay by Edenred

Edenred’s AnytimePay on-demand payment program is the perfect solution for a company looking to offer the benefit to its employees.

AnytimePay works like this: Employees work their hours and then can add funds from their earnings to a prepaid card. AnytimePay is set up so the prepaid card can only access money for food at any time. Employees will have access to their funds within seconds of making the request. They can then use the prepaid cards for food, including eating at restaurants, buying groceries, or ordering from delivery apps.

On the administrative end, the payments are processed during each pay cycle. You won’t have any debt collection duties or other uncomfortable administrative work. Your business maintains control while Edenred helps maintain all compliance standards.

With food costs continuing to rise, on-demand pay is an excellent benefit for your employees. Schedule a meeting today, and we’ll be happy to help you get started or provide you with more information.

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