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Salaries hit by runaway train fares

As commuters return to work after the festive season, increased train fares will swallow up around 8% of their salaries, according to Hay Group’s latest PayNet UK Salary Tracker.

The average fare rise of 5.9% was announced in December 2011, putting the average annual season ticket at £2,028, or 8% of the median UK salary of £25,176. In some cases, fare hikes could mean some commuters spending more than a fifth of salary on their journey to work.

Stuart McMillan, Reward Information Consultant at Hay Group said: “As train fares continue to rise above inflation, and salary increases remain subdued, commuting costs are set to take up more of UK employees’ pay packets”. He added: “Employers need to be aware of this when considering reward packages, and consider benefits such as interest free season ticket loans and greater flexibility to work from home.”

Signal to employers

As ticket prices continue to eat into salaries, Hay Group reckons employers need to consider ways to help employees beat the pinch – encouraging flexible working and considering creative benefits. But as the firm notes:

  • Only 42% of organisations on its database currently offer their employees interest free season ticket loans.

  • Only two-thirds of these (64%) offer them to all UK staff, with most of the remainder (27%) doing so for London-based workers only.

A final word

“As fares rise, employers may need to consider integrating commuter benefits into total reward packages, to engage and enable staff to help them offset the additional squeeze on employees’ disposable incomes.” - Stuart McMillan, Reward Information Consultant, Hay Group.

Want to know more?

Hay Group’s PayNet UK Salary Tracker analyses pay and salary movements across five different employee levels in over 600 organisations, representing over one million employees. Season ticket prices are based on a sample of representative routes into eight major UK cities, based on typical short, medium and long journeys into each.

Hay Group’s PayNet UK Salary Tracker is a “comprehensive quarterly analysis of salary against inflation, as well as other economic indicators”. For more information, please visit: www.haygroup.com/uk/salarytracker.

Date 04/01/2012

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