IKEA offers cash, larger discounts to help staff weather soaring living costs

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STOCKHOLM  (Reuters) – IKEA retailer Ingka Group is launching a 10 million euro ($10 million) social fund and bigger staff discounts to support employees struggling to cope with higher living costs.

Ingka, the owner of most IKEA furniture stores, said the fund would support its “most cash-strapped” staff throughout its fiscal year to the end of August.

“Each Ingka Group country will give support to co-workers who may need ‘one-off’ financial assistance to, for example, pay electricity bills or for housing costs,” it said in a statement on Thursday.

The group did not immediately reply to a request for further details, including on how much a staff member could recieve and what the bar was for applying.

The employer of around 170,000 across 31 markets said it would also double staff discounts to 30% in its store-in-store food markets and on more than 2,000 energy-saving products such as water saving taps, light bulbs, bedspreads and appliances.

“The cost-of-living crisis is hitting many people hard. Some more than others,” it said. “We want to be able to support co-workers through this time, while balancing the needs of our business, always guided by our values.”

Companies across Europe are implementing ways to help staff with surging food and energy bills over the winter.

($1 = 1.0052 euros)

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