Employers reconsider financial wellbeing for employees post-coronavirus

More employers are considering a workplace savings scheme to reprioritise financial wellbeing following coronavirus.

According to a Cushon survey, 72% of employees said they want access to such a scheme within their workplace in addition to a pension.

Access to workplace savings could be critical to helping support employees’ positive mental health in this time, as a further 87% of employers said financial worries have a negative effect on performance.

In the UK, the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) has seen an unprecedented rate of universal credit (UC) claims as a result of the virus, including a recent spike in the number of people over the age of 50 making claims.

According to the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), young people under the age of 25 and women are most at risk of financial instability due to pandemic-related redundancy.

Research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and Save the Children also found that despite having the support of credit, six in 10 families have been forced into debt due to the increasing financial pressures of COVID-19.

“It’s not surprising that financial wellbeing has quickly risen up the corporate agenda,”

Steve Watson, head of proposition at Cushon, told HR magazine. “With the threat of harder economic conditions ahead, financial concerns are rife for many and never has the need to be financially resilient been so important.”

To build more financial resilience to help in the event of the unexpected, 26% of employers in the survey said that they need to provide employees with more information on investment, and 34% they would consider webinars as a way to help employees manage their finances and savings.

Watson added: “Everyone’s circumstances are different – but our research shows that having a workplace savings scheme, where employees can contribute to an accessible savings pot directly from payroll is a popular initiative.

“No matter what their financial priorities are, a workplace savings scheme is accessible to everyone and allows employers to foster greater financial resilience for all employees which helps in times of uncertainty.”

Cushon’s Financial Resilience research, conducted in May 2020, is based on the view of 2,000 individuals and 1,000 HR managers in the UK.