NEWS31 March 2023

MRS publishes cost-of-living guide for market researchers

Cost of Living News UK Wellbeing

UK – Research companies should take another look at their pay and conditions for staff and working arrangements in light of the current cost-of-living crisis, Market Research Society (MRS) guidance has suggested.

large receipt flowing out of coin purse

The Cost of living and inflationary pressures guidance suggested companies consider whether employees’ pay, bonuses and benefits should be enhanced given the higher levels of inflation currently in the UK.

This includes considering flexible working and even policies such as contributing to a person’s heating bills to make home working more affordable.

Financial wellbeing policies and workshops, and training for management on financial issues, could also help better support staff, said the guidance.

Creating a staff emergency fund to help employees if domestic appliances break could also be useful, as well as interest-free staff loans, according to the guidance.

Prompt repayment of expenses, reviewing fuel and mileage rates and contributing to professional memberships, as well as supplementary benefits like free food at work, could also have a beneficial impact.

Recent research carried out by the MRS and Opinium found that one fifth of the sector found their jobs stressful in 2022, albeit a lower rate than the national average of 24%.

Jane Frost, chief executive at MRS, said: “As researchers we should know better than most how the issues our people are facing are affecting them in these difficult times.

“We must listen to our employees, but it is also vital to be transparent and consistent in our own communications, being open about financial health as well as the support we are able to offer.

“All research leaders should be considering how they can support their employees, maintaining the reputation of the sector and encouraging long-term rewarding careers.”

The guidance can be accessed here.