Supporting the Financial Wellbeing of a Workforce
Employers may find it difficult to recognise when one of the workforce is suffering with their mental health.
They may not realise that the lack of productivity, increased absenteeism and poor time keeping of a member of staff are all evidence of an underlying problem.
For many people one of the reasons for their change in behaviour is due to financial stress and this is often noticed in the work place where they spend a significant amount of their everyday lives.
A study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found money worries were the biggest source of stress to UK employees.
‘Stress in the Workplace’ said that debt can have a dramatic impact a person’s job, causing poor work performance, lack of engagement and absenteeism.
Issues with money and mental health are interwoven because just as people in problem debt are significantly more likely to experience mental health problems, those with mental health problems are more likely to end up in problem debt.
In a survey by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI), 86 per cent said their financial situation had made their mental health problems worse.
The news comes after it was revealed earlier this year that the number of young people going bankrupt has increased 10-fold in three years with many blaming easily-obtainable credit cards for the rise.
Almost 2,000 18-to-25 year olds entered a formal insolvency procedure between April and June this year, compared to 208 at the beginning of 2016.
Debt charity StepChange is campaigning for a comprehensive system of support for those struggling with distressing life events – which could prevent people from getting into financial problems to begin with.
In January 2019 it was revealed by the Bank of England that people in Britain owed a total of £72.5bn on credit cards and each household in the UK has an average of £2,688 unpaid on cards with many families experiencing unmanageable piles of debt.
The Money Advice Service (MAS) estimates that 8.3 million people in the UK are over-indebted, and that 22 per cent of UK adults have less than £100 in savings, making them highly vulnerable to a financial shock such incurring unexpected bills.
Although employers may feel uncomfortable asking a member of staff if they have mental health problems, they can help in a low-key manner by supporting the financial wellbeing of their workers.
This is by becoming a payroll partner with their local credit union and allowing their workforce access to a whole range of saving schemes and affordable loans as a perk of their employment.
As a Credit Unions of Wales Payroll Partner an organisation gives staff an easy route to fair and ethical savings and loans, while also supporting the wider community because, as financial co-operatives, credit unions plough profits into providing services to all of their members.