71% believe staff are distracted by personal debt at work

Steve Herbert

Just under three-quarters (71%) of employer respondents believe that employees may be distracted by personal debt problems while at work, according to research by Jelf Employee Benefits.

The research, which surveyed 319 employers, also found that 43% of respondents believe employees at their organisation have been absent from work over the last 12 months in order to deal with financial problems.

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The research also found:

  • 18% of respondents feel that too much debt is the main financial concern facing employees at their organisation, 14% identify under-saving for retirement as the biggest financial concern facing staff, and 13% think that uncontrolled or over spending is the main financial issue facing employees.
  • 21% of respondents believe that inability to get on or move up the housing ladder is the biggest financial concern among their workforce, and 20% cite housing costs as the main financial concern for staff.
  • 22% of respondents do not believe that employees have been absent from work over the last 12 months due to financial problems, and 35% do not know.
  • 20% of respondents do not know if staff at their organisation are distracted by personal debt issues, and 10% do not believe they are.
  • 31% of respondents feel that less than 12.5% of their workforce are just about managing financially, 23% believe that 25% or more employees at their organisation are just about managing, and 18% feel that 50% or more are just about managing financially.

Steve Herbert (pictured), head of benefits strategy at Jelf Employee Benefits said: “These finding really should act as a wake-up call for all UK employers. If the nation is going to flourish in a post-Brexit world, then it will be increasingly important that each and every employee is able to fully focus on their day-to-day work duties to help improve the UK’s poor productivity figures. It is therefore concerning that employers believe that money worries are actively distracting large slices of their workforce from this key objective.”