79% of employees say household pay cuts have affected their mental health

79% of employees have been affected by mental health due to pay cuts

Of the 61% of employees that have seen a member from their household take a salary reduction, 79% say it has affected their mental wellbeing, according to research by Barnett Waddingham. 

Its survey of 2,017 full-time and part-time employee also found a further two-fifths (40%) have experienced increased anxiety over the pay cuts, more than a third (39%) have experienced elevated stress, just over a quarter (28%) have suffered from sleepless nights, and a further 23% cited pay reductions as their biggest concern.

Almost a third (32%) of female employees have suffered from higher stress levels, in comparison to just under a quarter (24%) of men.

Additionally, just under half (48%) of women have suffered from higher anxiety levels compared to a third (33%) of men, more sleepless nights (32% compared to 24% of men) and increased headaches or migraines (15% compared to 13% of men).

Peter Meyler, associate and head of workplace consultancy at Barnett Waddingham, said: “There is a tendency among employers to try and split and respond to physical, mental, and financial health separately. The Covid-19 (Coronavirus) crisis has reinforced that this ignores reality. Financial health has a direct and tangible impact on people’s mental wellbeing. The global pandemic has, of course, hit mental health hard, but so too will the economic consequences of the crisis from entering a deep recession.

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“Employers need to be careful not to view their actions in a vacuum. For those making decisions around pay and potential redundancies, now is the time to consider the impact on employees’ wellbeing as paramount. Communication and engagement are key, and it’s a two way street. Listen to the concerns and requirements of the workforce, and carefully consider any ideas that they may have for alternative solutions to avoid job losses. Do your best to communicate outcomes and decisions with openness, clarity and empathy

“For those struggling, please do seek help. Mental Health UK, Mind, and the NHS are all providing free resources to support mental health at this time.”