According to Mental Health at Work, two-thirds of employees who are struggling financially report at least one sign of poor mental health that could affect their ability to function at work. The CIPD reports that only 11% of employers with health and wellbeing strategies actively focus on financial wellbeing (compared to 57% that focus on mental wellbeing).
Employers can assist with the financial and mental wellbeing of staff by creating a culture of support. The first stage is to create a financial wellbeing plan. It doesn’t have to be complicated. CIPD advises to follow three simple steps:
- Let your employees know that the government’s Money and Pensions Service provides free, confidential and independent money and debt advice.
- Communicate your company benefits to staff so that they are aware of what’s on offer and how to make the most of them.
- Start a dialogue with employees and line managers about the financial challenges and opportunities they are facing. This aims to break down the stigma around money problems.
Once these three basics are in place, it advises that employers can then expand the policy to include a commitment to paying a fair and livable wage, supporting in-work progression, expanding any benefits packages and offering financial education. Take a look at our guide to setting up an employee benefits scheme. We also partner with Wellness Cloud, which provides wellness support for staff (and comes as part of our HR plans for clients).
Here are some of the useful resources we have found that you can pass on to employees.
- Moneyhelper – this offers free, impartial help and is backed by the government. This includes helping to clear debt and reduce spending. It also includes budget planning calculators. Moneyhelper also offers advice specifically on National Insurance.
- Help with energy bills: the well-publicised hike in energy prices is a cause for concern. The average household on a default tariff is likely to see an increase of £693 from £1277 to £1971 per year. There are a couple of points to make staff aware of:
- £200 energy bills rebate loan – this discount to the energy bill is a loan and will need to be paid back at £40 per year over the next five years (on bills from April 2023 to 2028).
- Warm home discount increase to £150. For those on a low income, claiming certain benefits, the Warm Home Discount gives money off the electricity bill between October and March.
- Council tax rebate: in April, all households in council tax bands A to D will receive a one-off £150 rebate on their bill for that month.
- Moneyhelper has more info and guidance.
- Mental Health at Work has a free toolkit for employers on supporting the financial wellbeing of your employees. It contains:
- NHS has free wellbeing guides aimed at employers.
- Debt Charity StepChange has a number of employee resources available when you sign up for its alerts.
- HBSC offer a financial fitness test which gives a score out of 100 along with suggestions on how where you could improve.
- CIPD has useful resources which you can download for free to support your employees.
Get in touch with us if you would like support and guidance.
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