Pay increases. National Insurance hikes. Record inflation. Labour shortages.
Businesses requiring security services are facing a perfect storm of challenges this year. How can organisations keep their buildings, people and assets safe without breaking budgets already under pressure?
April will see a 2.5% increase in National Insurance contributions, just as the minimum wage goes up by 6.6% to £9.50 while the Real Living Wage rises to £9.90 and £11.05 in London. All that at a time of record inflation which is seeing cost increases across the board.
All this is being compounded by a lack of available security officers to fill vacancies thanks to a widespread labour shortage which is pushing up wages even more. There are currently 1.1m vacancies in the UK and many security officer roles are not receiving any applicants.
Why has this happened?
A combination of factors has caused the current challenges.
- Higher commodity prices and shipping costs are pushing up inflation which is resulting in upward wage pressure according to the OECD
- National Insurance increases are to pay for health and social care
- A third of the labour shortages is due to lower migration according to data from The Institute for Employment Studies
- The Great Resignation: many older people are retiring earlier and younger people are choosing to travel, stay in education or start up their own businesses rather than enter the employment market
- Up to 10,000 experienced officers are currently being used in quarantine hotels and Covid test and vaccination centres
- Security is not seen as a first-choice career
How can businesses weather the storm?
We see two key solutions:
Blending people and technology – Security officers will always play an essential role in the security mix. But by using the latest security monitoring technology together with manned guarding, organisations can help to alleviate the cost pressure of wage increases and the current labour shortage while enhancing the resilience of their security function. To find out how much you could save by blending people and technology, use the Manned Guarding Savings Calculator on our website or speak to us today.
Decent pay – Paying the minimum wage is no longer enough. Experienced security officers can earn more working in less risky retail roles. Instead organisations should be paying the Real Living Wage to attract, retain and reward skilled people. Organisations need to be an employer of choice – somewhere people want to work and stay working for the long-term. We need to provide not simply a good wage but also incentives such as bonuses, enhanced training, flexibility and a great culture.
As the only major social enterprise in the security sector and a Living Wage Recognised Service Provider, we take pride in looking after our people. By working with us, you will benefit from some of the most highly-trained, experienced and loyal security officers, supported by the latest monitoring technology from our state-of-the-art alarm receiving centre in Glasgow. And our social enterprise status means that working with us contributes to your Buy Social targets as part of the Social Value Act 2012 ensuring your supply chain is diverse, ethical and sustainable. Talk to us today – reach out to our Solutions Support Manager Hayley Page on 020 7566 0541 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.