London-based Camden Town Brewery has seen 30% of its 160-strong workforce utilise a benefit that enables them to access a percentage of their monthly wages prior to payday.
The benefit, provided by Wagestream, was introduced in September 2018 to help reduce employees’ financial stress and assist with monthly budgeting challenges, addressing the fact that some staff were asking for loans part way through the month.
Wagestream allows employees to access 30% of their salary, interest free, before being paid at the end of each month; this flexibility is designed to help staff better cope with unexpected expenses and avoid debt.
Claire Anderson, head of people at Camden Town Brewery, said: “Working financial wellbeing into our benefits system is one of our current aims; whether that might take the form of reward schemes for staff engaging with our offering or them having more power to choose the benefits they engage with.
“Last year, we worked on a piece around nutrition for mental health, which staff really enjoyed and took real practical information from, and I love the idea of doing the same with financial wellbeing. We know money worries often contribute to anxiety and depression and are only perpetuated by a lack of financial stability, so we want to do what we can to help our staff.”
Since September 2018, 30% of employees have used the benefit. On average, staff are withdrawing between 15% and 25% of their earned pay during the month.
Wagestream forms part of the organisation’s wider wellbeing strategy. This includes a private healthcare benefit, provided by Vitality, which offers financial training support within its health package. Camden Town Brewery aims to provide a host of flexible reward options, to suit the diverse range of roles, salaries and working hours within the business.
Moving forwards, Camden Town Brewery plans to work further with Wagestream to offer financial wellness and life-hack workshops, to help employees be smarter with their money.
Anderson added: “I’ve been receiving great feedback from staff who instantly embraced the benefit of a flexible income. One person was moving house but didn’t have enough in their savings to pay a deposit, so was able to do so by accessing their monthly salary earlier.
“Another staff member will be benefiting monthly because their rent is due two days before pay day. They’ll now be able to structure their payments better and will escape the cycle of debt. Other people have commented that Wagestream takes the pressure off their finances because they no longer have to rely on credit cards or loans with high interest rates.”