Anglian Water evolves financial wellbeing strategy to support employees

Anglian Water’s financial wellbeing strategy has evolved as the organisation has recognised the need to help employees with financial matters.

Anglian Water

The utilities organisation has integrated financial wellbeing into its approach to employees’ health and wellbeing since 2007.

Sally Purbrick, head of reward at Anglian Water, says: “We have seen a correlation and it all integrates into the area of health and wellbeing. It is not done in isolation. All the areas join up around financial management with a theme of healthier employees. Financial wellbeing is just one of the enablers to a less stressed workforce.”

The first step of Anglian Water’s financial wellbeing strategy was a loyalty savings scheme, which replaced its share scheme after the organisation delisted in 2007.

The scheme, which is now provided by Barclays, is designed to encourage employees to save, with payments coming directly out of pay over a three-year period. The scheme is also linked to the organisation’s business objectives, which, if met, means employees receive a bonus on top of their saving.

“The loyalty saving scheme is about helping employees save for the short term, with contributions up to £250 allowed per month,” says Purbrick. “We also have a good pension scheme for the long term and we make the schemes all about good-practice money management to help remove unnecessary stress and inconvenience.”

Since its inception, Anglian Water’s offering has expanded to include hardship loans for employees hit with unexpected circumstances and water bill salary sacrifice.

To support its strategy, it also offers education with financial masterclasses for employees to help with money management, to make staff more aware of finances and other options and to build employee wellbeing around finances, mortgage deals, savings and so on.

Purbrick says: “[The strategy] has been built on relationships, research and seeing what other employers have done.

“People have personal issues [with finances] and clearly cannot perform to their best. As an organisation, we have aimed to build an initiative in times of pay freezes and low pay increases.

Financial wellbeing is about being mindful that employees do need help, and we have a way of supporting that with this focus on helping them be financial well. It might not be that they have problems but it is saying to them there can be better opportunities with the way money is managed.”