With inflation now at its highest level in 40 years and household bills rapidly increasing, some members of your team will no doubt be concerned about their finances, which in turn can have an impact at work. Employees who are struggling financially are often stressed and therefore less likely to function effectively in their role, in particular if they are losing sleep, can’t concentrate properly and lack motivation.
Some members of staff will undoubtedly be hoping for a significant pay rise this year, without understanding that business running costs are being similarly impacted and that many companies are unlikely to be able to afford pay increases in line with inflation. Whatever you are doing in terms of pay this year, make sure that your team knows why that decision has been reached. The worst thing you can do is say nothing, which then results in rumours and speculation, potentially leaving employees feeling disgruntled and disengaged.
So, what alternative options are available to you to support your team? Although there is no simple solution, a series of smaller actions could collectively help to make a difference for someone.
If you only do one thing, please copy and share the Financial Support Resources section at the bottom of this message with your team. However, if you want to do more, other actions might include:
- Allocating everyone some time during working hours to sit down and properly review their finances.
- Sharing or signing everyone up to weekly money saving emails such as those from Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis Money Saving Expert – latest tips
- Contacting your local Citizens Advice representative to see if they can come in and speak to staff, either as a group or on a one to one basis Citizens Advice
- If you are a HSBC business customer, you can access a series of free financial support sessions in the workplace for your employees help-and-support/financial-wellbeing
- Ask your own business banking or employee pension provider if they can offer any group or 1:1 finance sessions to your team. Many do provide this as a free service.
- Getting the team together to generate other ideas eg car shares or encourage them to share cost saving ideas with each other etc
- Look at schemes offered by companies such as Salary Finance, which can help employees with financial education, savings, affordable borrowing, salary advances Salary Finance – information for employers or Wage Stream which provides flexible access to pay all month earned-wage-access-flexible-pay
- Share details of free cost of living information and advice resources such as those provided by Salary Finance at the-cost-of-living-squeeze and a free 30-minute webinar recording that can be watched on demand at how-to-cope-with-the-cost-of-living-squeeze
- The Open University has a small number of free finance related courses on different topics money-management/free-courses
- Apps such as Nudge, provide employees with quick and easy access to advice, reminders, and money management tools nudge-for-employees, Reward Gateway provides employees with access to discounts and other benefits rewardgateway
There will never be one simple fix for everyone and everything, however keeping cost savings and financial support ideas visible and in conversations at work, might just help someone who is really struggling.
Financial Support Resources
Benefits The benefits system can be complex, so don’t assume that you aren’t entitled to anything. The main page containing details of all benefits available can be accessed here: Benefits – GOV.UK
Specific pages that might be helpful:
Mortgages. Mortgage arrears or problems paying your mortgage. If you’re struggling with your mortgage repayments and can’t get back on track, its important that you don’t ignore the problem. There’s a lot of help available Mortgage arrears or problems paying your mortgage | MoneyHelper
Renting Help with rent arrears and problems with paying your rent If you can’t pay your rent, don’t ignore the problem. Talk to your landlord as soon as possible. Whether the problem is caused by a change of circumstances, a budgeting difficulty or a cut in benefits, you can take some important steps to help get yourself back in control and avoid eviction. Help with rent arrears and problems with paying your rent | MoneyHelper
Money Advice Service Free and impartial money advice, set up by the government. The Money Navigator Tool gives you action plans based on your own situation Money Navigator Tool
Budget Planning An effective way to gain money is to find ways to save and cut back. This tool helps you to work out how much money you have coming in, what you’re spending it on and provides personalised tips: Budget Planner and Tips
Money Health Check Understanding your finances can help you to improve them. The every day money helper page provides a variety of tools that will help you to quickly work out the figures you need for some of the most common money situations you may find yourself in. The easy-to-use calculators can help you budget, save and cut back on costs. They can help you find impartial advisers, find out how much you might have in retirement, tell you how much extra money you need for your baby and much more. Some of the specific links are:
- Car Costs Owning a car can be expensive. The fuel, tax, insurance, maintenance and depreciation costs can all add up. This calculator will help you to understand how much it will cost.Car Costs Calculator
- Credit Card Calculator Credit cards are like having a loan for the amount you’ve spent using the card. They’re easy to carry, offer a way to buy-now-pay-later, and give you buyer’s protection. It’s easy to get stung with a credit card though, and that’s where our credit card calculator comes in.
- Loan Calculator – Before you get a loan, when you’re looking to pay off a loan a bit faster, or when you need to take a step back and see where your outgoings are – that’s the time to use our Loan calculator | Personal loan and interest payments | MoneyHelper
- Bill prioritiser: Help if you’re struggling with bills and payments – It can be difficult to manage all the different bills and payments in our lives. The consequences of not paying off some bills before others can be more serious. Our Bill prioritiser can help you sort your bills and payments in the right order and tell you what you need to do if you’re struggling to pay before you miss a payment. Bill prioritiser
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- Debt Advice Locator If you’re worried about debt, you don’t need to struggle alone. Speaking to a trained and experienced debt adviser about your situation can help you see what the best decision for you might be. Debt Advice Locator | Syndication | MoneyHelper
- Money Helper If you’re struggling to keep up with bills and debt payments, don’t worry – you’re not alone. We help hundreds of thousands of people with similar worries every year. There are lots of things you can do to resolve your difficulties, including getting free debt advice. Help if you’re struggling with debt | MoneyHelper
- Negotiating with creditors The debt charity Step Change offers guidance and support on how to negotiate with creditors and prioritise repayments. StepChange Debt Charity – Free Expert Debt Advice