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Date posted: 01st March 2023

01st March 2023

The Crucial Role of Employer Support In Times of Economic Uncertainty

The Crucial Role of Employer Support In Times of Economic Uncertainty

During times of economic uncertainty, employer support can play a crucial role in helping employees navigate through financial difficulties. Employers can provide financial counseling, and benefits such as paid leave and flexible work arrangements to alleviate the burden of financial stress. This support will ultimately boost employee wellbeing, morale and loyalty, benefiting the overall performance of the business.

Read this article for more on the importance of employer support in times of economic uncertainty.

From the article in HR News:

Employers are under renewed pressure to rethink their workplace financial support packages in light of research[1] that reveals that two thirds (66%) of organisations rate their workplace debt management support as poor, despite government claims that Britons are living through the worst cost of living crisis in a generation.

Half (50%) of respondents also believe that their organisation is poor at supporting employees with budgeting and money management, and 63% believe that their efforts to help employees to build a financial safety net is also poor, according to the ‘Financial Wellbeing Research 2022’ by The Reward & Employee Benefits Association (REBA) in association with WEALTH at work.

REBA’s research also found that pensions and insurances continue to dominate the focus of many organisations and their financial support packages. This helps to explain why the majority (76%) of respondents consider their retirement saving support as ‘very good’ or ‘fair’, while just 37% of organisations rate their support for building a financial safety net accordingly despite the current economic climate.

Further, 63% of organisations across the board do not offer access to financial advice; 62% do not offer access to financial coaching; and 24% do not offer support for financial emergencies.

But encouragingly, over two-thirds (70%) of employers want to prioritise increasing financial capability in the next two years, 34% plan to offer a financial education programme, almost one quarter (23%) plan to fund guidance on budgeting and general money management, and 22% plan to fund guidance on financial emergencies in the same period.

Jonathan Watts Lay, Director, WEALTH at work, comments; “The research highlights the need for employers to review their workplace financial support packages and assess the extent to which they can help employees through the current economic challenges by making their pay stretch further.”

He adds; “Employers can start by looking beyond their pensions and insurances, which continue to dominate the focus of many organisations. Diversified financial support packages include offering benefits such as; a range of savings schemes to build financial resilience, discount schemes (e.g. money off grocery shopping), help with financial planning including debt support, and salary sacrifice schemes to help reduce costs for travel, mobile phones, gym passes and health and dental care. It is important that any scheme introduced is explained properly to staff so they understand how it works.”

Watts-Lay explains; “Financial education and guidance delivered in the workplace can really help members understand the benefits on offer and should also cover topics such as how to budget, tips for saving money, and debt management. With the cost of living crisis hitting many hard, supporting employees to build their financial resilience and improve their financial wellbeing is of the utmost importance right now.”

[1] The research cited is from The REBA/WEALTH at work Employee Financial Wellbeing Survey 2022 which was carried out online between April and May 2022. Responses were received from 289 wellbeing, HR and employee benefits specialists, representing around 1 million employees, working at organisations of various sizes and across a broad range of industry sectors.

Read the full article, here.

And for more articles on Wellbeing, Culture, and Experience & Engagement be sure to visit the Inspiring Workplaces website.

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