Financial health is now the leading concern for employees, according to a new survey of more than 500 business owners. The research for Evelyn Partners UK reveals that nearly a third (30%) of business owners see financial wellbeing amid the cost-of-living crisis as the biggest worry for their employees. Work/life balance (29%) and mental health (27%) were also seen as big concerns for workers. These factors came ahead of perceived worries over job security (24%), childcare during working hours (22%) and performance targets (17%).
It comes as Evelyn Partners announces the launch of a new employee financial wellbeing service for organisations to help their staff manage their money more effectively now and over the long term – a move that will help plug the advice gap for those needing help to get their finances in better shape.
Through a new app the employees of subscribing organisations will get 24/7 access to comprehensive digital support that includes goals tracking and budgeting tools, educational content and financial health-checks. Employees will be able to view all of their accounts – including banking and pensions – in a single place via open banking and for those who wish to make investments, access to Evelyn Partners’ Bestinvest platform.
For senior executives with more complex financial affairs, Evelyn Partners will provide executive consulting, enabling them to meet with financial planners and tax advisers and then choose whether to engage with them for formal, ongoing advice.
Evelyn Partners will also host both in-person and online bespoke educational seminars for subscribing firms on a range of topics, such as how to create a financial plan, saving for a house deposit, planning for retirement, and understanding existing employee benefits.
Evelyn Partners partner, Tom Shave, commented: “The findings from our research amongst business owners is concerning and underlines that the health of their employees’ personal finances should be recognised as a business risk. Absenteeism due to stress is a significant problem and a factor driving worrying levels of economic inactivity in the UK. Employees under financial stress are far more likely to suffer mental health problems such as anxiety, sleep deprivation and a low mood, something that could impact their concentration levels and relationships in the workplace, dampening productivity in the process.
“Positively, many employers have become increasingly attuned to the physical and mental wellbeing of their employees in recent years, a consideration that accelerated enormously during the pandemic when staff were required to work from home or put on furlough. In an effort to attract and retain the best workers businesses are putting more and more effort and resources into the non-remuneration aspects of the packages they offer to existing and prospective employees. Facilities aimed at employees’ mental and physical well-being are increasingly widespread offerings, on top of pensions and other benefits, and flexibility over working patterns. Given the well-established link between money worries and stress, we believe that financial wellbeing should be considered as a core component of the benefits offered to staff.
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“Our new offering provides organisations with a comprehensive service to improve engagement with their employees at all levels of the organisation and help them gain more confidence about their financial futures. We believe the service will help organisations attract and retain the best talent, boosting productivity and focus, and lead to better financial outcomes for their staff.”