National Stress Awareness Day focused on mental health – but financial wellbeing is also a key player in employees’ anxiety


Last week’s National Stress Awareness Day saw an increased discussion around previously ‘taboo’ topics such as anxiety and depression in the workplace, looking at causes and how employers can help their staff address issues. But a cause of stress that still merits more examination is employee finances.

With only 16% of scheme members saving enough for retirement (Aon’s Defined Contribution Member Survey 2016) and 64% of Generation Y workers reporting concerns about their finances (Willis Towers Watson’s 2015/2016 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey), it is clear that concerns about their financial situation at both ends of the scale is driving employee stress.

Over 2016 it has started to hit home with employers that a ‘financially well’ employee is likely to have fewer sleepless nights, fewer external worries to concern them at work, and the ability to retire at a suitable age.

So what can UK workforces do to reduce the burden of financial stress and help employees with their savings?

Research from WEALTH at work (July 2016) found that 90% of employers thought that employees save more when workplace savings options are offered: suggesting that putting alternatives to the pension in place, for example workplace ISAs, SAYE/ SIP schemes and so on, are a good encouragement to engage employees with their savings.

Jonathan Watts-Lay, director, WEALTH at work, comments: “The link between debt, money worries and stress, lower productivity and absence are increasingly recognised by employers. There is a commercial cost to people having financial worries which is why looking out for your employees financial wellbeing is also in your best interest. We believe it is important to support and help your employees feel secure when it comes to their finances. You can do this by integrating a financial wellbeing plan into an overall health and wellbeing strategy.”

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Wealth at Work