36% of UK workers have money worries and it’s not helping productivity

Date: 19th Nov 2019

36% of UK employees are regularly worrying about money, according to new research by Salary Finance.

The  Employer’s Guide to Financial Wellbeing 2019-2020 explores the effects of poor financial wellbeing. It shows that those with financial worries are more likely to be suffering from problems in and out of the workplace, which will affect their working life.

36% of UK employees are regularly worrying about money. Perhaps surprisingly, people are worrying more about money than any other area of life, including careers 26%, health 24% and relationships 19%.

To start with, employees that have low financial wellbeing are a staggering 14.6 times more likely to have sleepless nights and over 4 times more likely to be suffering depression and/or anxiety.  Those who have money worries are taking, on average, at least one sick day a year to deal with their financial issues. One day a year probably doesn’t seem that much, but when you consider it’s actually 360 people out of every 1,000 employees (36%), it’s actually an enormous figure.

If each of those 360 people took only one sick day a year due to money worries, then poor financial wellbeing is costing businesses 360 days a year or 30 lost days each month per 1,000 employees. When we then layer these figures alongside the statistics related to employees taking time off for mental health problems, we can see that employee wellbeing is not black and white. 1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem each year and mental ill health is responsible for 72 million working days lost and costing UK business £34.9 billion each year (MHFA England). 

Absenteeism is just the tip of the iceberg according to Salary Finance. Absenteeism is something that is fairly easy to see – we know when people are out of the office. However, our research also shows that employees with money worries are spending 2.7 working hours a week dealing with their money worries, compared to 1 hour a week for those without money worries. Essentially this means that employees are at work, but are too stressed out and preoccupied to focus on their job.

Mental & financial wellbeing are interlinked and employers that can consider financial wellbeing alongside their mental health programme will reap the rewards in terms of a reduction in absenteeism, improvements in productivity and retention. In the long-term, employers should focus on creating a holistic wellbeing programme that considers all aspects of wellbeing and puts their people at the heart of their business priorities.  

Christian Berenger, Managing Director of Ezitracker workforce technology commented:

“This interesting research suggests that an organisation that has a mental wellbeing strategy without a financial one alongside it is potentially driving along with the foot on the accelerator and the brake pedal simultaneously. It shows that employees with money worries spend 2.7 working hours per week dealing with personal money issues vs 1 hour for those without financial worries. This means money issues are at the root of an additional 1.7 hours per week of lost productivity for those that are stressed about money. 

Spread out across an entire year, employees with financial worries are losing the equivalent of 10 working days a year due to their financial issues.  As the world of work changes, so does the desire for greater speed, security, flexibility and financial security, driving people - regardless of the industry they work in, to question about how they work, why they work and how they are paid.

Ezitracker provides for the full Employee Journey from Onboarding to Payroll.

The method and frequency of how people are paid can have considerable impact on how they manage their finances and how they approach their daily duties. Financial stress can be a distraction at work for employees, and many employers recognise the direct impact it can have on productivity and engagement. The notion of streamlining payroll must be viewed essential by employers, regardless of industry or size. That’s why there is an emergence of new technologies that aim to transform payroll for the benefit of both employers and employees, and more so in commercial cleaning and facilities management sectors where hours and locations can be varied.

EziPay takes the approved time and attendance data collated from EziBudget and handles all your taxation contributions through automatic calculations. EziPay will even generate payslips and send them direct to your employees for download or view through EziEngage.  Employees can use EziAdvance to draw down money and manage their finances from pay day to pay day.

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