A senior figure in the employee benefits sector has praised businesses for stepping up their efforts to support the financial wellbeing of their staff.
Cheryl Brennan, Director of Corporate Consulting at Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing, said the efforts are “extremely timely”, given the stress and pressure brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
62% of employers are offering financial education…Source: REBA
…and 31% are offering access to financial advice
Her comments come as the latest survey by the Reward & Employee Benefits Association (REBA) into the impact of the coronavirus crisis highlights that many employers are looking at providing financial wellbeing support, along with increased spend on some employee benefits and insurances.
REBA found that 62% were offering financial education and 31% financial advice, plus several employers are considering, or have already set up, a hardship fund for employees affected by the crisis.
“Financial wellbeing is often overlooked by employers in their wellbeing strategies, something we hope will change given the current situation”
Cheryl Brennan, Director of Corporate Consulting,
Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing
The survey also found that a quarter of employers have increased spengding on their current employee assistance programme; one in eight (13%) have increased spend on their existing virtual GP service and a further 8% (one in 12 employers) have introduced virtual GPs for the first time.
Brennan said: “Many employees will be facing money worries right now. Some will be worried about their income if furloughed, others on how this crisis will affect their savings and retirement funds. Our own pre-crisis research highlighted that financial wellbeing is often overlooked by employers in their wellbeing strategies, something we hope will change given the current situation.”
Howden’s pre-crisis research found that 40% of employers have no procedures in place to help workers who have money worries, despite as many as 96% of employers believing that at least some of their workers were experiencing persistent money worries.
40% of employers have no procedures in place to help workers who have money worries…Source: Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing
…but 96% of employers believe that some of their workers have persistent money worries
Brennan said it is important that employers acknowledge the fact that money worries can negatively impact health and wellbeing.
She said: “At a time when employees are concerned about their health, adding financial worries to the mix can overwhelm people mentally. More than ever employers need to support their workers with robust health and wellbeing provision. This includes a robust approach to financial wellbeing and we recommend employers look at what financial education and support they can implement now to ensure their workforce gets through this crisis.”