Better Employee Benefits? Vast Majority Of UK Workers Affected By Money Worries

In Business, Employee Benefits, Industry News by Paul Howell

The vast majority of UK workers are troubled by money. That’s one of the key takeaways from new research that surveyed more than 5,000 employees and over 1,000 employers.

According to the inaugural Close Brothers’ Financial Wellbeing Index, 94% of UK employees are suffering from money worries and over three-quarters (77%) say that money worries impact them at work. Two in five (40%) employees say they worry about their finances – always or often.

The index estimates that around 25 million UK employees are impacted by money worries while at work and their financial wellbeing score sits at 53.6 out of 100, on average.

UK Financial Health Is Cause For Concern

The index assessed and scored eight key areas of personal finance – debt, protection, retirement, tax, money worries, budgeting and planning, properties and mortgages, and savings and investments.

Employee Financial Wellbeing Index…

  • Money worries – 6
  • Budgeting & planning – 48.8
  • Debt – 7
  • Protection – 42.5
  • Savings & investments – 54.1
  • Retirement planning – 50.3
  • Properties & mortgages – 61.2
  • Tax – 48.5
  • Overall index score – 53.6

It found that protection was the lowest scoring area (42.5), followed by budgeting and planning (48.8) and tax (48.5). The average financial health score for UK workers stands at just 53.6 out of 100, a reality that highlights the urgent need for action.

Surprisingly, even though the third biggest money worry for employees is how they would cope financially in the event of them losing their job, only 8% (one in 10) of employees have income protection and just 23% have a current will.

Furthermore, over half (55%) of UK workers do not have a financial plan and 76% do not know what tax allowances and reliefs are available to them, or they have some awareness but they are unsure whether they are taking full advantage.

2.4M UK Businesses Impacted By Poor Employee Financial Wellbeing

While at work, 87% of millennials, 72% of employees aged 35-54 and 47% of those aged 55 and over, worry about money. As a result, 22% of employers said their productivity levels have dropped, while a further 22% of organisations say they have been impacted by a loss of talent. Meanwhile, short-term and long-term absences affect 19% of businesses.

All in all it is thought that around nine in 10 (89%) large UK businesses are impacted by poor employee financial wellbeing. That equates to approximately 2.4 million UK businesses.

Responding to the Close Brothers’ report, CIPD president Professor Sir Cary Cooper said: “Although many businesses have made great strides to look after the mental wellbeing of their employees over the last decade, not as many employers have supported their financial wellbeing. And given that employees have said their money worries are affecting them at work, this is a bottom-line issue.”

To summise, it goes without saying that employers are directly impacted by the financial health of UK employees. Nevertheless, they (employers) remain in a great position when it comes to improving said financial health through rewards and benefits packages.

I joined Premier Choice Group as an SME/Corporate Consultant in 2017 and look after the Healthcare & Protection needs of a nationwide portfolio. I began my career in Healthcare and Protection in 1985 with BUPA, before moving on to  Royal & Sun Alliance. In 2002, I became an Intermediary and worked with Private Clients, SME’s and Corporate clients on a local, national and international basis.