Employers Add Benefits to Help
Employees with Rising Gas Costs
are offering telecommuting, flexible schedules, and other benefits to help
employees offset the costs of rising gas prices, but few employers are
increasing pay to help employees, according to a survey by the Society for Human
The survey found that only 2 percent of respondents said they offered a cost of
living raise prompted by gas prices, or stipends to employees with long
Instead, employers are offering new benefits, and more employees are taking
advantage of benefits they already had. The survey found that the most common
tactic (42 percent, up from 13 percent in 2007) by employers was to raise the
mileage reimbursement to the IRS maximum.
Other benefits include offering a flexible work schedule (26 percent),
telecommuting (18 percent), public transportation discounts (14 percent), and
rewarding employee performance with a gas card (14 percent).
"Rising gas prices are cutting into everyone's personal budgets, so employees
are taking a closer look at benefits such as compressed work weeks and public
transportation discounts to reduce their costs," said Susan R. Meisinger,
president and CEO of SHRM. "In addition, employers are offering extra help as a
tool to retain employees and improve employee morale."
The survey found
that 12 percent of employers help employees organize carpools, and 7 percent
offer priority parking to employees who carpool. One percent of respondents said
they offer a monetary incentive for employees to buy hybrid cars.