As we all breathe a sigh of relief at January’s payday, I thought it may be timely to look at employee financial and mental well-being, and how you can help ‘ease the strain’ this year. After all, financial strain may not just be for Christmas, it could be for an employee’s whole life but there are simple things you can do to alleviate it.

I am writing this while watching daytime TV, a channel showing re-runs of famous motoring shows and during the breaks some less scrupulous companies looking to leverage a financial advantage. A man on TV has broken down in the break, but no fear relief is on the way! For the princely sum of an APR that would exceed the maximum message length on Twitter and your first born you can rectify the car issue. Ignore if you will the fact that you could probably buy a brand-new car for the repayments. Of course, employees need to take responsibility but if you can help, with little inconvenience and no cost to you, why wouldn’t you?

Employees experiencing financial stress are:

  • Significantly more likely to be suffering from poor mental health
  • More likely to have work performance issues related to lack of sleep
  • 3 times more likely to be looking for a new job

And as an employer of choice, you are in an enviable position. You have an opportunity to aid employees in predicaments and not only know you’ve helped, but further your profile as the preferred workplace for the talent you want and need in order to succeed. There are some simple solutions out there, these are just a few.

Salary Sacrifice

Probably one of the most established ways of leveraging employee savings. Employees ‘exchange’ salary for benefits, childcare is on the way out, but pensions, cars and bikes are still delivering big savings. Other offerings such as technology have less lucrative benefits after HMRC changes but still deliver value.

You could deliver savings from 45% on cars to 12% on tech to your employees, via a gross pay deduction, at no cost and little risk to you. That’s a massive relief for employees with long term worries. If you want to learn more about how it works, you can have a look here.

Employee Loans and Savings

Think you must take the burden of this? Not anymore. A whole raft of new providers have emerged with innovative schemes where employees’ current commitments can be combined into one loan, consolidated to benefit from a lower interest rate as the loan is paid via a net salary deduction. The reassurance of this being paid direct from salary dramatically lowers the fees and should the employee move on, the arrangement moves with them.

Payday Advance

Traditional payday loans have a bad press, with good reason. Employees traditionally turn to these 3 weeks into their salary cycle, when they have already earned 3 weeks money from you which they can’t access without huge admin on your part. Again, innovative providers will manage this for you, giving employees easy access to their salary prior to payday but never more than they have earned.

Financial Education

Possibly one of the most important ways you can help. It’s never taught at school and infrequently taught by parents. Good financial education is something you can help with as part of your benefits package.

Whether salary sacrifice or employee loans there are many progressive ways to help aid employee financial well-being, all at no cost to you! No cost but a great investment in your employees financial and mental well-being, making you an employer of choice and although we can’t place a value on that on a balance sheet experience will show that the benefit is immeasurable.

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