According to employee benefits firm Neyber, “How can I help an employee worried about debt?” is not a question many employers are likely to ask. The Neyber survey suggests that 67% of employees believe that their employer doesn’t care about their financial wellness. It also suggests that only 3% of employees would turn to their employer about their financial worries.
Lack of financial wellbeing has a significant impact on the productivity and health of the workforce
- 55% of employees said being under financial pressure affects their behaviour and ability to perform their job in the workplace
- 51% of employees say financial pressure affects their relationships with colleagues
- 46% of employees say financial pressure affects their relationship with their line manager
The average household owes £7.413 in unsecured debt, 9.45 million people in the UK have no savings and 17 million people only have £100 savings. It’s maybe not then surprising that any workforce at any one time will have some members struggling with money. It makes the question “How can I help an employee worried about debt?” much more likely to be asked, especially if employers set their stall out to be more open about discussing financial worries.
We are not advocating that employers give employees advances on their wages or loans of any kind. We are not advocating singling out individual employees to ask if they have debt issues. What we are advocating is more universal education about what resources are available in the local area to help anybody in debt help themselves. Metis HR is based in Rossendale in Lancashire. Rossendale is lucky enough to be included in the catchment area of First Choice Credit Union
Credit Unions provide guidance with debt management to support individuals and low interest loans to people who otherwise would have to contemplate the extortionate interest of a payday loan. This then becomes a vicious cycle of having to work to pay off a loan and likely only serves to make employees more vulnerable to financial stress.
Credit Unions are a useful support mechanism for employees. They will usually come and speak to groups of employees at work. They will make them aware of the benefits of the services that they offer. Employers can help by clipping an information leaflet to all employees’ payslips. This equally well gets the message out to everyone. Payroll deductions are then easy for employees to arrange as they pay back loans or pay into a savings scheme. Involvement with the local credit union may well even help with Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.
So there are ways that you can quite easily respond to the challenge of “How can I help an employee worried about debt?”. Consider inviting your local credit union into your workplace to talk to your employees.
Metis HR is a professional HR Consultancy based in the North West of England supporting clients across the country. We specialise in providing outsourced HR services to small and medium-sized businesses. Call us now on 01706 565332 to discuss how we may help you.