A recent survey undertaken by Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing (Howden) suggests that many employers have yet to establish a formal support structure to help workers who have persistent money worries.
The research – which was undertaken prior to the current COVID-19 crisis – asked more than 160 senior Human Resources & Finance professionals how their organisation would respond if an employee approached them regarding their personal financial problems.
More than 4 in every 10 respondents indicated that their organisation had no formal procedures in place to provide assistance in such a situation. Yet the same research also highlighted that as many as 96% of employers believed that at least some of their workers were experiencing persistent money worries.
Steve Herbert, Head of Benefits Strategy at Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing said;
“Employers across the United Kingdom are increasingly aware of the importance of robust health and wellbeing strategies to support their employees. This is to be welcomed, but Howden’s research suggests that one key element – financial wellbeing – is still being overlooked by many employers at a time of huge financial uncertainty for employees.
The truth of the matter is that the last decade of austerity has already left many employees in debt and struggling to balance income and outgoings. This already difficult situation is sadly only likely to get worse in the immediate aftermath of the coronavirus crisis, and will probably be felt the hardest by those that were already struggling to make ends meet.”
However, the survey did find that many organisations had formulated plans to offer at least some support to their workers in financial difficulty.
Half (50%) of all the employers questioned suggested they would signpost employees towards their workplace Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) in the first instance, and other options included referrals to a debt charity or specialist (2%), or signposting to a recognised Workplace Finance provider(2%) for assistance.
“There are likely to be millions of workers whose financial situation has already deteriorated during the lockdown period, and who are also likely to face further money worries in the months ahead. These employees will doubtless be looking to their employer for support in these very worrying and uncertain times.
And, from an employer’s perspective, the need to bounce-back to full productivity will be paramount. So it’s vital that each and every worker is able to focus on their work without money worries acting as an unwelcome distraction to this objective.We would therefore encourage all employers to embrace both basic and more advanced financial wellbeing support options to help employees of all ages and incomes to manage their finances better.”
Howden’s range of financial wellbeing solutions can be delivered directly to employees in the workplace, or remotely via conferencing and technology solutions.