SME’s should prioritise employee financial wellbeing

Research shows that poor financial wellbeing costs UK businesses £1.6 billion each year and at least a quarter of employees in the UK are unable to perform at work due to money worries.  The need to help employees feel confident about their finances has never been greater, and we are urging SME’s to prioritise employee financial wellbeing and education in order to help their enterprises thrive.

Ann-Marie Pugh, Director at Neate & Pugh said, “poor financial wellbeing is a massive issue, which is having an effect on employers, employees and the UK economy. We’ve seen many businesses where there is evidence that concerns about personal finances have considerably damaged employee productivity, and in turn, put a strain on the business.”

“There is a need for SME’s to understand more about employee financial wellbeing and, more importantly, work with their staff to promote financial wellbeing and address the causes of stress related to their personal finances. We’ve seen businesses who’ve put measures in place to help their staff, and have reaped significant rewards on their bottom line as a result.”

It’s estimated that a third of UK employees feel that they would value some form of financial education from their employer, but just one in seven are currently receiving any financial guidance.

Emma Neate continued, “Employers need support when it comes to educating their employees about their personal financial wellbeing. It’s fair to say that a lot of SME’s aren’t aware of what they can offer employees, or feel that it’s not their place to interfere, despite three in four employers saying their employees’ productivity has been impacted by financial concerns. We think that needs to change – research shows that employees both need and want financial guidance from their workplace.”

We are urging SME’s to view financial wellbeing in the same way as they would physical and mental wellbeing. We believe that an effective financial wellbeing strategy is a clear indication of an employer’s intent, and can be used to motivate employees to take control of their own finances. The results of a solid financial wellbeing strategy is a more positive, healthy, engaged, loyal and productive workforce. Investing in financial wellbeing is therefore not just a decision based solely on an SME’s obligation towards its employees, but also a simple step towards boosting a business’s bottom line.  

We have extensive experience advising on a full range of  HR issues. Our directors, Emma and Ann-Marie, each have more than 20 years’ experience of advising on employment law and HR issues in law firms and in businesses.