Employers take steps to alleviate gas-pump shock

Solutions include increased telecommuting, increased expense guidelines for mileage
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 08/02/2006

Professionals who are feeling pain at the pump may find help from their employers. Eighty-two of the 100 Canadian executives polled by staffing firm Robert Half International said their firms are taking action to reduce the impact of higher gas prices on employees.

The most common changes include increasing expense guidelines for employee-incurred mileage (cited by 62 per cent of respondents), allowing staff to telecommute more frequently (32 per cent) and allowing employees to work from offices closer to home (31 per cent).

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

Other solutions include:

•Encouraging carpooling or ride-share programs: 16 per cent

•Raising compensation to mitigate fuel costs: 14 per cent

•Providing transportation to employees: 12 per cent

•Providing gas subsidies to employees: 10 per cent

•Providing subsidies for employees who use public transportation: 7 per cent

The majority of executives (79 per cent) said rising fuel costs have not affected their recruiting efforts, while 11 per cent reported job applicants are less willing to make lengthy commutes and 9 per cent said candidates are seeking higher salaries.

The survey also asked 591 Canadian workers how escalating gas prices were affecting their routines. Thirty-four per cent of workers have had their commutes or work arrangements affected by higher fuel costs.

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