Financial wellness in the UK: what Australian employers can learn

financial wellness in the UK what Australian employers can learn

Employees’ financial wellbeing is the last workplace taboo, according to a 2014 Barclay's report. But that is rapidly changing.

With the rate of financial stress amongst workers on the rise, the UK is blazing an impressive trail when it comes to boosting workplace financial wellness.

In fact, over the last three years, there was reportedly a 150% increase in the number of organisations considering introducing financial wellbeing programmes, and a 75% increase in those actually doing so.

Significantly, employers in the UK are approaching financial wellbeing in a holistic way, with 59% of businesses that have an overall wellbeing strategy incorporating financial programmes within it.

Over the last three years, there was reportedly a 150% increase in the number of organisations considering introducing financial wellbeing programmes, and a 75% increase in those actually doing so.

How UK employers are tackling employee financial strain

In a bid to avoid the productivity costs associated with employee money woes, UK businesses are adopting a range of financial wellbeing initiatives.

Barclays has introduced an internal wellbeing portal for their global staff, which includes accessible financial information and interactive tools and guidelines.

The website has a particular focus on establishing structure around finances, achieving financial goals and addressing money worries such as debt.

Anglian Water has also developed an innovative approach to improving staff financial wellbeing by providing a series of in-house financial masterclasses.

These classes are accompanied by a holistic set of supportive counselling on a range of topics, including debt management and mortgage and savings advice.

Some companies have gone the additional mile to try to get staff to participate in programs, with Center Parcs introducing an incentive scheme to boost take-up of their financial education seminars.

Ultimately, what all these businesses agree on is that with improved knowledge, employees are better able to make decisions around savings and loans. They're also less likely to load up with debt – a key cause of financial stress.

What’s the cost to employers?

While all these programs and initiatives will come at a price, you need to start viewing this cost as an investment.

Stress, absenteeism and unexpected resignations can have a dramatic impact on productivity.

In fact, last year Australian businesses lost an estimated $47 billion due to the impact of stress-related illnesses.

Where to start?

The idea of dealing with employee stress on top of daily business functions can seem overwhelming, but they are equally important and can’t be looked at in isolation.

The best way for employers to support employees is to provide the tools and resources to help employees take control of their finances, which is where Bees with Honey comes in.