A company employing nearly 30 people in the South has paid them £700 each to help with the cost-of-living crisis.
Computer Network Defence, a cyber security consultancy, awarded the emergency energy cost payment to each person and totalling £20,300, regardless of whether they are full time or part time and irrespective of length of service.
Andy Cuff, Computer Network Defence’s chief executive and founder, said: “Staff are relatively well paid, with at least a 3.8% salary increase last November, but everyone is feeling the pinch because of spiralling household energy bills and other inflationary pressures on food, clothing and fuel.
“According to the Bank of England, inflation is forecast to rise from the current 7% to top 10% by December, the highest in 40 years, with one of the severest contractions in household disposal income since 1964, which was 58 years ago.
“It is against this testing economic backdrop that Computer Network Defence decided to bolster pay packets – and we hope other employers can follow our example.
“The emergency energy cost payment was also made before the latest rise in the base interest rate, from 0.75% to 1%, which makes borrowing more expensive and, again according to the Bank of England, could see household savings fall to their lowest level since 1999.
“At the time of our decision, the average cost per household was £693, hence the £700 payment.
“I have had a few colleagues phone me up in tears to say ‘thank you’, which was very moving whilst, at the same time, worrying.
“One of them works two hours a week and another only joined us three weeks ago – both are incredibly grateful and pleasantly surprised.
“We are trying to do right by staff during these unprecedented circumstances in the UK. You get the feeling that we are all alone in this – the government appears powerless.”
Annual gas and electricity bills are reportedly set to soar to £2,900 for households from October compared to last year’s average of £1,138 – an increase of £1,1762 or nearly £147 more per month.
Andy added: “That’s a lot extra to find each month for people on modest salaries, let alone those on lower incomes.
“We considered another percentage top-up, but this wouldn’t cover the household energy increases for our part-time staff and therefore opted for a fairer one off payment for all, regardless of whether they earn a four-figure or six-figure salary.
“We’re in the fortunate position as employers to be able to do this as we’ve had a great year, which is due to our staff going above and beyond and working really hard.”
Computer Network Defence is headquartered at Corsham, near Chippenham, Wiltshire.
The firm secures and monitors networks for cyber security attacks protecting everything from spacecraft to superyachts and their clients range from banks to energy farms.
The firm developed a free website which is the go-to place for the world’s biggest cyber security agencies – https://radar.securitywizardry.com/
Entitled the Security Wizardry Radar Page, the website is updated constantly with all the latest cyber threats and is used by government agencies and businesses globally so they can ensure that their networks are capable of defeating them.
The consultancy was founded 18 years ago as a family business by Andy and his wife Amanda, who has a background in banking and finance.
With a background in military computing, communications including space, and electronics, Andy went on to progress into information security, covering the then emerging field of cyber security.