Employers still failing to offer financial education

New research has suggested employers are still not doing enough to help staff navigate their finances.

According to a poll by Wealth at Work, even after the effects of jobs losses and furlough, a significant 41% of organisations are still failing to offer employees any support to enable them to better manage their money.

This lack of assistance comes after more than half (51%) of those surveyed said the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic had made them conscious of the need to save more, with more than a quarter realising their current savings were inadequate.

But the lack of employer-provided support will be a blow to those wanting additional help from their bosses.

Commenting on the research, Jonathan Watts-Lay, director at Wealth at Work, said: “The research has shown us that people do want to learn how to save more money, and some realise that they need to save more into their pension.”

He added: “Financial education and guidance delivered in the workplace can help employees understand how to make the most of the various saving vehicles available depending on their individual saving needs.”

Among those employers that do provide financial education, the research found that 23% had created seminars or webinars, while 20% had provided some form of financial guidance on a one-to-one basis. Less than a fifth (18%) however, said they had organised for their staff to speak directly to a regulated financial adviser.

Watts-Lay explained: “Financial education can also help with other important financial skills such as how to best manage debt, understanding the importance of having an emergency fund set aside for unplanned life events, as well as having sufficient savings for retirement.”

On a more positive note, the research revealed that the pandemic had caused 14% of employees to recognise the need to save more into their workplace pension. But a significant minority of 18% still said Coronavirus had made no difference at all to their opinion on saving.

Watts-Lay added: “These uncertain times have highlighted the need to support employees to become more financially resilient so that they are better able to manage any financial shocks.”

The research was carried about among 1,015 UK adults in employment between 20 May and 4 June.