Why employee financial wellness is an issue for employers

Daniel Meehan, 28 March 2018

Mental health issues and stress caused by financial problems are not confined to the time an individual spends outside the workplace, it can also have a negative effect on their working lives too.  The case for implementing workplace wellness programmes that address these challenges is clear.

Financial problems and mental health issues often go hand in hand and a significant number of people in the UK are struggling with both. Recent research from the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute estimates that 23,000 people in England were struggling with problem debt in England while hospitalised due to mental health issues last year. 

Furthermore, research from the Money Advice Service found that of those UK adults that are in personal debt, 10% say that mental health issues have made it difficult for them to manage their money. The research also found that 21% of UK adults say that they are ‘drowning in debt’ and money worries.   Mental health and money problems are often connected, with money problems being both the result of and cause of mental health problems. 

Our research illustrates the impact money worries can have on wellbeing. We found just over 34% of employees feel stressed because their current financial situation while 34% have lost sleep worrying about their finances and 21% felt that their financial worries have affected their work.  It’s not surprising that many find financial worries having an impact on their lives as 23% employees say that they struggle to pay their basic living costs each month and 31% worry about getting through the month on the money they earn.

Research from the Reward Guide shows that employers are not oblivious to the challenge of supporting their workforce: their survey found that top financial wellbeing considerations for the upcoming year were reducing   stress-related absences that were due to financial worries and the concern over employees struggling with day-to-day debt.   Our wellness programme offers insight into tailoring a workplace wellness program that not only covers financial wellness but also addresses the importance of mental and physical wellness.

The proportion of employees feeling the strain of a precarious financial situation and the resultant impact on productivity illustrates that there’s work to be done in this area.

About the author

Daniel Meehan Head of Financial Wellness, Benefits Strategy

Daniel Meehan

Insight Research

Our research reports are aimed at Pension Trustees and HR Directors, covering topics such as pensions, health, flexible benefits, engagement and wellness. They are free to download!

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