HR ‘do not feel equipped’ to offer support to employees with money worries

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Four in ten HR people said that they would not feel equipped to offer support if workers came to them with money worries and almost half (49 per cent) feel it’s not in their remit to do so, new research has found.*

The study, carried out among 10,000 UK employees and 500 employers found that 45  per cent of HR people said that they believe employees don’t bring their financial concerns into the workplace. Yet the same research showed that 35 per cent of employees say they have felt stressed, 26 per cent have lost sleep, 20 per cent have felt depressed, 10 per cent struggle to focus at work and 6 per cent have missed a day at work, specifically because of financial worries. Of these, 40 per cent say the issue creates a negative impact on relationships at work.

Heidi Allan, Head of Employee Wellbeing at Neyber, said,

It will be no surprise to know that this time of year is particularly problematic. According to debt advice charity National Debtline1, 37 per cent of employees put Christmas expenses on credit last year, so although this is not the employer’s issue, there is great scope to support staff with financial wellbeing and education so they can start 2019 in the best possible way. There has quite rightly been great concern in the HR market in the last year, so it is positive that so many are helping employees where they can.

Neyber’s report showed that three in ten employers have a well-developed wellbeing strategy, encompassing personal finance, retirement planning and employee benefits, however a further 20 per cent said they have no strategy at all, and while 17 per cent of those are considering it, 12 per cent have no plans to introduce one at all.

Heidi Allan said,

It is a widely known fact that employees often struggle to manage finances, which can be a very lonely feeling. The research shows 7 per cent don’t know who to turn to and 16 per cent handle it on their own. Perhaps not surprisingly, just 3 per cent would go to their HR team, or 5 per cent to a manager, but it is possible for HR and employers to create a supportive environment for staff without going to great expense themselves.

* Research by Neyber

 

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