Employers Help Workers Ease Fuel Costs

July 27, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - As fuel prices hover at high altitudes, almost three fourths of employers who responded to a survey said they are taking measures to ease the effects of these prices on employees.

The survey by California-based Robert Half International found that 75% of employers say they are taking some measures to cut down on the impact of higher gas prices. Forty-seven percent of employers have increased the expense guidelines for employee-incurred mileage, 37% of employers who responded have allowed staff to telecommute more frequently and 35% of employers say they encourage carpooling.

“Companies are always looking for tools to help maintain morale and reduce turnover,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International Inc., in a release. “Easing the burden of escalating gas prices can help them accomplish both objectives.”

Of the 25% of respondents who are not taking steps toward helping employees deal with fuel prices, one in four said they would likely change their minds if prices continue to increase.

Respondents were also asked if gas prices were affecting their recruiting efforts, and 66% said they saw no change, 22% said applicants are less willing to make long commutes, and 11% said candidates are asking for higher salaries.

The survey included responses from 150 executives at the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.

The firm also surveyed workers to see how escalating gas prices affected their routines and found that 34% said their commutes or work arrangement was affected. Respondents said they have begun taking steps to ease the burden, including more frequent carpooling or ride-sharing, looking for jobs closer to home, asking for increased compensation and working from satellite offices.