Half of employers believe a financial wellbeing strategy is key to employee wellbeing

Heidi Allan

Half (50%) of employer respondents view implementing a financial wellbeing strategy as key to improving employee wellbeing, according to research by Neyber.

Its 2018 edition: The DNA of financial wellbeing, our borrowing needs report, which surveyed 10,000 UK employees and 580 employers, also found that 30% of employer respondents opted to implement a financial wellbeing strategy to improve employee engagement, compared to 42% who sought to reduce financial stress among staff.

A third (33%) of UK employers have used a financial wellbeing strategy to boost employee productivity and a further 33% utilise this type of strategy to ensure employees understand the benefits that are available to them. Around 26% of employers have a financial wellbeing strategy because they see it as a valuable benefit.

Heidi Allen (pictured), head of employee wellbeing at Neyber, said: “Financial worries can lead to sleeplessness, stress and even depression. Clearly our research demonstrates that young people in Britain are not coping and are having to borrow just to get by. More needs to be done to support people, whether that’s providing better financial education in schools, working with employers to offer their young staff financial education or even providing debt support and guidance.

“If we don’t act now, we will see young people in Britain spiralling into debt they’re unable to repay. However, when we asked employees if they would welcome support and information to help them improve their financial situation, over half (55%) said that they would.”

A fifth (20%) of employee respondents reported that they want help with their long-term financial planning, such as pensions. More than one in 10, (15%) would like assistance on how to create good savings habits, while a further 15% would like help with investments. Around 10% want to better understand individual savings accounts (Isas) and other savings options, compared to 8% who would like help with understanding mortgages and how to get on the property ladder.

Around two-fifths (45%) of employee respondents feel that financial worries affect their job performance, while 40% state that it impacts their relationships at work. In comparison, 68% of employers recognise that financial worries can affect employees’ behaviour, 69% see impacts on employee performance and 67% agree that financial worries can influence work relationships.

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A total of 77% of employers think their employees are borrowing money, compared to 97% in 2017, and 25% of businesses with between 501 and 750 employees feel that some members of their workforce are financially excluded, compared to 8% of organisations with less than 50 staff.

Allen added: “The survey show shows a real disconnect from what employers are thinking and what’s reality, particularly for younger employees. One of the reasons for this regular borrowing may be that more young people have jobs with fluctuating income. [Around] 68% percent of 18 to 24-year-olds said their income changes each month. Over a quarter (27%) said their income varies by more than 30%.”