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Employee money worries... Removing the stigma. Providing the solution

19 March 2024

It’s Debt Awareness Week, so, like the campaign, we’re exploring why employees aren’t sharing their money worries with their employers or seeking professional support. There’s a stigma. Money often remains a taboo subject in the workplace, yet employees with money worries bring their stress to work, directly impacting businesses. Discussing financial wellbeing at work is a must. Read on to discover how to remove the taboo and provide the solution.

The Debt Awareness Week campaign focuses on why people don’t seek debt support, highlighting what they can expect if they reach out for help with their money worries.

At Pluxee UK, we’re focusing specifically on the employer-employee relationship and how exploring money worries and supporting financial wellbeing at work is so essential. So essential, and yet, our Money Mastery research found that many employees didn’t receive financial support in the workplace - and they want it.

57% of employees not currently receiving financial support at work expressed an interest in their employer providing them with financial education and advice.

If you’re questioning why we’re bringing financial wellbeing to the workplace, here are two reasons:

  1. 62% of employees experiencing financial worries believe they are less productive.
  2. 35% are more likely to take sick leave than they were before they were experiencing poor financial wellbeing.

Employees with money worries are taking more time off work. In 2023, experts estimated that poor financial wellbeing cost UK employers £10.3 billion annually - a £4.1 billion increase from 2021 data (Aegon).


Money Mastery Guide Download


Remove the stigma and provide debt support with EAP

The first and perhaps most essential step to providing debt support and enhancing financial wellbeing at work is creating an environment where employees feel comfortable bringing their money worries to their employer’s attention.

Our Money Mastery research uncovered a few obstacles to overcome:

  • Only 16% of employees interviewed feel their workplace has a culture of openness.
  • Only 12% of employees consider their employer to be a source of financial information and support.

Since the cost to businesses is so high, creating a culture of openness and supporting financial wellbeing at work is essential. Employees need to have faith in their employer, and employers should be aware when money worries present problems.

Nobody in this equation expects HR professionals or managers to become financial advisors. Debt support comes in many forms, starting with a safe place to talk. If the workplace can’t offer that directly, an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) can be a lifeline for employees struggling with money worries.

If counselling and mental health support is necessary, EAP will provide that. Still, before employees need that level of intervention, an EAP service can give practical and preventative guidance.


Enhance employee financial wellbeing by putting them in control

The Debt Awareness Week campaign has created a video to help people understand what to expect when they call to receive debt support. One of the areas they explore is how to help people get control of their financial situation.

Helping employees regain control is an impactful way to alleviate money worries, and our Financial Wellbeing App will enable your employees to:

  • Track spending.
  • Create healthy habits.
  • Make money management easier.


Reduce spending whilst living life!

If your employees reach out for debt support, they will likely be advised to review and, where possible, reduce their outgoings. Whilst the advice may be to spend less, at Pluxee UK, we prefer to help your employees get more for less.

It’s possible to reduce the cost of the weekly shop by making small changes, such as switching from top-name brands to store brands or buying frozen instead of fresh foods. Our Employee Discounts Platform can stretch these savings further. We partner with the UK’s favourite supermarkets to bring you and your people discounted eVouchers that they can use to save money on the weekly shop, days out, a family meal, and so much more.

Our Pluxee Card is another way to make life more affordable, spending less while still getting as much joy from life as possible. We partner with over 80 retailers to provide up to 15% cashback when using the Pluxee Card to spend with them. Powered by Visa, employees can spend their cashback earnings wherever Visa prepaid is accepted as payment.

Spending less doesn’t have to mean going without. Life can still be joyful when we can make the things we love more affordable.

Sometimes, it's when those unexpected home emergencies hit that we're more at risk of falling into debt or relying on high-interest loans. Most of us can't do without our washing machine, phone, or laptop, but replacing them is expensive. If paying upfront isn't viable, you can provide an alternative to loans and credit cards with SmartPay.

SmartPay is a cost-neutral salary deduct scheme that enables your employees to spread the cost of the things they need. Your business funds the upfront payment, and your employees repay it over an agreed period directly from their salary.

No interest, no late fees, no additional money worries. Just peace of mind and a step on the road to enhanced financial wellbeing.


Alleviating money worries with a Debt Consolidation Loan

When money worries are due to mounting and unmanageable debts, an employer-funded debt consolidation loan could be the lifeline your employees need. Employees with a bad credit rating will struggle to get a competitive high street loan, and Pay Day loan companies are a recipe for disaster.

Provide the security, peace of mind, and debt support that will enhance employee financial wellbeing and reduce absenteeism by embedding a debt consolidation loan scheme into your wellbeing strategy.


Remove the stigma and provide the solution with Pluxee UK

Employees bring their money worries to work, and those experiencing poor financial wellbeing will cost your business money. Our Money Mastery eBook explores the concept further and is free to download, so we recommend having a read.

It’s time to prioritise employee financial wellbeing at work, offering debt support in one or all the ways we’ve discussed during this blog. Remove the stigma and provide the solution by arranging a call today.