A new survey has revealed that worryingly, with the pandemic causing financial hardship for so many, 49% of employers do not have a financial wellbeing policy for their staff.
A financial wellbeing policy could be as simple as offering access to low-interest loans, running pension workshops or a commitment to signposting to independent money and debt guidance.
However, the CIPD’s latest Reward Management Survey did show that some employers are trying to help and support their staff who may be struggling financially, for example:
- 24% of employers have explored how the pandemic has impacted their employees’ financial wellbeing, so they’re better able to identify the right kind of support. Another 18% plan to do so by the end of March 2021.
- 19% are planning or considering becoming an accredited Living Wage Foundation employer (a further 18% of employers are already accredited and another 18% already pay the ‘Real Living Wage’ without being accredited).
- 12% of employers have introduced or plan to introduce, a financial wellbeing policy in direct response to the pandemic (29% already had one).
The top reason (cited by 49%) given by employers as to why they don’t have a financial wellbeing policy in place, was that senior management does not see it as a priority right now.
Charles Cotton, senior performance and reward adviser at the CIPD, commented on the findings, “The pandemic has, unfortunately, hit many people’s finances hard, with many losing their jobs and others seeing their income fall. This has no doubt focused many employers’ minds on fairness and in-work poverty – and it’s good to see a number of them taking steps to protect people’s financial wellbeing during the pandemic.
“However, it’s also clear that there’s an opportunity to do more. We’ve seen many employers really step up to the plate when it comes to supporting their employees’ mental wellbeing during this crisis, and we’d like to see the same attention given to their employees’ financial wellbeing. For too long it’s been considered the poor relation to wellbeing but we know the two are intrinsically linked and should have parity.
“And whilst we fully acknowledge how tough it is for businesses right now, with many just focusing on surviving, we think there’s a strong case for employers to be doing more to support their people’s financial wellbeing. It may well be that even light-touch steps, such as signposting to independent money and debt advice, can start to make a difference.
“It should also be said that every employee stands to benefit from having better access to financial wellbeing support, particularly at key life stages, such as when they are starting out, becoming a parent or retiring.”
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