May 23, 2017
One of the biggest concerns cited by many of those being polled on their views during the General Election campaign has been the high cost of living compared to wages. Now a new report claims that over half (55 percent) of employees are experiencing financial problems, which are affecting their behaviour, relationships and ability to perform at work. Although the nationwide study of the financial wellbeing of UK workers The DNA of Financial Wellbeing 2017 report, claims that nearly a third (32 percent) cite finance as their biggest concern; 66 percent of HR directors, think that financial worries are not of concern to their employees. The findings from Neyber, a financial wellbeing company, shows that 47 percent of workers are borrowing money to meet their basic financial needs, with 25 percent borrowing on a credit card, followed by 13 percent through a bank overdraft and 13 percent borrowing from friends and family. Meanwhile, an increase in so-called zero hour contracts means that nearly half (47 percent) of workers in the North and Midlands have an income fluctuation of more than 10 percent each month.
This is significantly undermining people’s ability to manage the money on a day-to-day basis, budget, plan and save. This fluctuation in income is contributing to financial exclusion due to an inability to access cost effective financial products.
With mental health currently high in the public consciousness, the research goes on to suggest that a third of workers in the North and Midlands (34 percent) suffer from stress, followed closely by 31 percent suffering from anxiety issues.
Monica Kalia, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Neyber said: “At a time when personal finances are under increasing pressure, employers have a duty to offer greater support to their employees. We are calling for more companies to provide a facility to allow employees to have access to financial education tools, saving facilities and access to low cost loans. Financial wellbeing should be included in every company’s employee engagement strategy. It’s the right thing to do and a financially resilient workforce can only be positive for the company and the UK economy as a whole.
Monica Kalia continues, “The good news is that more businesses realise that staff with financial worries also struggle at work and firms are waking up to ways to help them.”
The report also highlights a divergence between employer engagement around financial wellbeing and the wishes and needs of their workers. For instance, 9 percent of HR directors do not consider providing financial education and awareness for employees a top priority. However, nearly three in ten (28 percent) workers in the North and Midlands would like to be offered or are currently receiving financial education from their employer, with three in ten also seeing value in their employers offering affordable loans.