24% asked for financial support in pandemic

Benefits employers can reposition to support the financial wellbeing of staff

A quarter of employees have had to ask family and friends for financial support during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, almost triple the number who did so in April 2020, according to new research about the future of work.

The survey, which was carried out among 2,001 UK workers by Barnett Waddingham, revealed that 26% have looked into their eligibility of state benefits, while a further fifth (21%) plan on doing so. More than two-fifths (42%) of those with a disability looked into state benefits compared to 24% without any disabilities.

The research also found that 13% of employees took out a bank loan and a further 12% a payday loan for financial support, which is an increase from a respective 5% and 4% who did so this time last year. A total of 10% have also asked a money health charity for help and a further 11% have started using a food bank, more than double those that did so last year at 4% and 5% respectively.

Additionally, more than one in 10 (13%) asked a mental health charity for help, while 20% plan to do so. Nearly a fifth (18%) of 25-34-year-olds have been more likely to seek mental health support, compared to just 6% of 45-64-year-olds.

David Collington, principal at Barnett Waddingham, commented that consistent engagement with employees is key to improving wellbeing, and developing effective surveys or improving communication with staff so that they feel supported will reap rewards in the long-term.

“As we come out of the other side of the pandemic, the strongest companies will be those that continue to provide support, listen to their employees, and prioritise their wellbeing. And it is these companies which will in turn see the biggest impact on recruitment, retention, and productivity,” he said.