FJ Chalke has handed its workforce a total of up to £3,600 in cost-of-living payments as part of a profit-share scheme designed to ease the burden of inflation of its staff.
The Wiltshire-based franchised car retailer, which trades in Abarth, Fiat, Isuzu, Jeep, Kia, Maxus, Nissan and Suzuki, has handed out £600 to each of its full-time staff as part of the scheme just months after a payment of almost £3,000 in the summer.
Leo Taylor, service manager at FJ Chalke Mere, said: “To see a support payment of this size come in just before Christmas is nothing short of amazing. The effect it’s had on the team has been brilliant. It really is rewarding to know the company cares deeply about the staff.”
The actions come as a study from YouGov found that employees want cash-saving workplace benefits like salary sacrifice schemes but are not comfortable enough to ask for them.
Earlier this year MHA employment tax director Nigel Morris advised car retailers to “flex” staff bonuses and salary sacrifice schemes to mitigate against the impact of the cost-of-living crisis as UK inflation continues to soar.
AM later took an in-depth look at staff remuneration as part of a news insight feature exploring the impact of the rising cost of business in the car retail sector.
Commenting on FJ Chalk’s cost-of-living support for staff, George Chalke, branch director at FJ Chalke Mere, said: “At FJ Chalke, we pride ourselves on our company ethos of running the business as a family. Our staff are our business, and this approach has seen us win repeat and new customers.
“We like to applaud and show our appreciation of our staff and all the incredible hard work they do to go the extra mile for our customers, so we wanted to reward them by going the extra mile for them too.
“Our profit-share scheme ensures that everyone does well if the business does well, so expect to see more of these payments in the future.”
FJ Chalk’s approach has benefitted staff retention. At FJ Chalke Kia Mere alone, where 11 employees have together accrued more than 250 years of service.
YouGov asked employees across the UK to choose the most important factor of an employee benefit in a recent survey in an effort to determine the best way of supporting staff with the cost-of-living.
Only half of the employees surveyed felt comfortable to ask their boss for additional benefits. While only a third of respondents (36%) believe they are aware of all the benefits available at their workplace.
Survey respondents overwhelmingly selected the ability to save money (73%) as their top priority, with benefits focused on mental and physical wellbeing (42% and 39%) some way behind.
According to HR professionals questioned by YouGov less than one-in-five (18%) UK firms offer salary sacrifice for electric vehicles (EVs), however, suggesting this alone could save staff upwards of £1,200 each year.