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Covid-19: What financial support do employees want from their organisation?

New research has found that, unsurprisingly, a significant number of employees are feeling stressed about their finances in the current climate. What guidance and support are workers seeking from their business to help them through this unstable time? 

29th May 2020
Head of Content Salary Finance
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Financial worries during Covid-19
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With so much uncertainty surrounding job security and a stable income pay, Covid-19 has left millions of employees financially vulnerable with very little to fall back on.

We recently surveyed over 2,500 UK employees to find out how they’re feeling during this uncertain time and what they are seeking from their employer by way of guidance and support. We found that 69% of employees are feeling anxious and stressed about their financial situation due to Covid-19.

This large figure is perhaps unsurprising considering that, even before Covid-19, employees were worrying more about money than careers, health and relationships, according to The Employer’s Guide to Financial Wellbeing 2019-20. This research also highlighted the extent of the UK’s savings crisis – 19% of UK employees save nothing each month and 20% only save up to £50. 

Given how nearly one-fifth of the population had no savings in the bank prior to the crisis, it’s no wonder that so many are now feeling the financial strain from lost income and/or job insecurity.

Our research found that 59% of employees felt they were not getting any information or would like more from their employer related to Covid-19.

What financial support are employees seeking?

When respondents were asked what help they would like to receive from their employer,  the top three requests were...

  • What to do if I'm struggling with borrowing or bills – 49%

  • What to do if I lose household income – 47%

  • How to reduce spending and make my money go further – 24%

Employers can help by providing a range of advice, support and products and services that can assist employees during this time. Here are some helpful tips we have created to share with your employees as a starting point:

1. Review your budget

If you’re in a financial crisis, you will want to create a budget that only takes into consideration the absolutely necessary expenses you will need to cover.

By doing this exercise, you will be able to see how much you need to cover and if your income allows you to cover all of your basic needs or if you might need to find an option to bring in some additional money to meet these expenses.

The Money Advice Service has an easy to use budget planner which can be found here.

2. Cut costs where you can

Think about any unnecessary costs you could cut down on or completely get rid of. Most of us have subscriptions to services we might not use.

Also, consider things such as meal planning by doing a stock-take on what is in your cupboards and freezer and seeing what you have already. There are also lots of ways to get creative in the kitchen. Lorna Cooper cut her family’s food bill from £100 to £20. You can read her top tips here

3. Make sure you’re not missing out

With so much going on, it can be tricky to know where to look for unbiased information. Make sure you’re not missing any help you’re eligible for by looking at the government’s guidelines regularly. Here are three other things to think about:

  1. Statutory Sick Pay: You could get access to Statutory Sick Pay (SPP) from day one if you need to self-isolate or cannot work because of coronavirus. You need to normally earn more than £118 each week (£120 from 6th April) to be eligible.

  2. You might be eligible for Universal Credit, Child Tax Credit or Local Housing Allowance. Check what you’re entitled to by using a benefit calculator like www.turn2us.org.uk 

  3. If you have children, while schools are closed due to Covid-19, you could get a weekly £15 shopping voucher if your child usually gets free school meals

Continue to communicate

Our research also found that 59% of employees felt they were not getting any information or would like more from their employer related to Covid-19. Your communications should offer opportunities for reassurance and connection. One of the most effective ways of doing this is to ask employees to create content that can be shared with the rest of the organisation. 

When it comes to financial wellbeing, think about sharing content from employees who’re sticking to a budget, cutting costs or are getting themselves out of debt.

Resources to help your employees during Covid-19

We have put together a hub full of accessible resources to help both employers and employees during this time. Find out more here

 

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