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Perk-cession? Third of Australian employers cutting perks

Today, people2people Recruitment shares their latest poll revealing that one in three Australian employers have cut employee perks in the last six months. The perk-cession is fast becoming a global trend, and Australia appears to be adopting this trend alongside New Zealand, who only recorded one in four organisations cutting perks.

Catherine Kennedy, people2people Recruitment’s NSW Managing Director says, “The challenging economic climate is leaving little room for salary increases, and employers are also needing to look at other ways to deal with cost pressures, which is why perks are now on the chopping block. However, attracting and retaining talent in such a tight labour market is critical today. Employers who can’t afford salary increases must make sure they don’t cut off the individual benefits that were keeping their people happy in the first place.”

Kennedy suggests employers that can no longer afford the perks once promised should shift their focus and offerings to what employees have identified as what matters most to them. People2people’s 2023 Annual Salary and Employment Report revealed:

  • On the rise: Training and development (64%), career opportunities (62%), work purpose (62%), and career opportunities (62%). Training and development 64% significantly increased in 2023.
  • Stable:  Job security remained relatively stable (63%)
  • In decline: Company culture (62%), work–life balance (64%), flexible working (51%), leadership style (53%), salary and bonuses (52%), management support and trust (69%).

Tips for businesses and organisations impacted by the perk-cession include:

1.    Always be transparent with employees as to what needs to be cut and why. Take people on the journey with you; don’t just take it away.2.    Look at the long-term. Offering training and development, even if it needs to be facilitated by internal team members, can deliver a better outcome over fruit and yoga classes.3.    Don’t U-turn on all wellbeing benefits. Maintaining a productive workforce through a downturn will be the real ‘benefit’ for everyone.


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