Simon Pettitt on how Carnival UK is supporting its lower earners
Cruise business Carnival UK was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and continues to recover. The business had almost no income for two years, and has only returned to a small profit this year. Our employee base is 1,800 shore side (UK land-based) employees, and around 15,000 ship-based employees of many different nationalities.
Although we are highly focused on what we want to do for our employees, the resourcing to achieve it has been limited. We’ve focused on supporting staff in our call centres, which tend to be lower earners. We’ve listened to employees’ needs through our employee experience groups and had to think carefully about what we can support at present, and what we will be in a position to do in the future budget-wise. We’ve also paused some activity to make sure that we have the right systems in place to support how employees select and use the benefits on offer to them.
As a start, we have been working closely with MoneyHelper and have been promoting its services to our employees, as well as directing them through our employee assistance programme. However, we want to put more support in place, including salary advance and affordable loans.
Supporting the wider workforce
We also want to make sure that we are supporting our high earners, by seeing how we can support them with investment, for example.
Another priority for us has been support for employees who want to start thinking about their retirement options. A lot of people still don’t understand pensions and the options they have when they reach retirement. Many still perceive it as stopping work one day and taking an annuity. So, we’ve created presentations and materials to support them and helping them to better understand what they can do.
For the most part, we have focused on self-help and education. In time, we will put the tools in place to give employees further support, as the business allows and by listening to our employee priorities.