Financial worries by the UK health and care services employees is costing employers £3.79 billion a year.
According to research by finance provider Neyber, 70% of the UK’s health and care workforce admit to being affected by financial worries. This figure rises to 91% when looking at those professionals earning between £30,000 and £39,000.
With the UK economy lacking financial resilience, the research reveals how personal financial stresses are actively contributing to the reduction in GDP. 820,000 hours are lost by health employees taking time off work as a result of financial stress. This is resulting in a 20% reduction in productivity and costing the industry £3.79bn a year in lost payroll.
Commenting on the findings Deborah Tarrant, President of the Healthcare People Management Association, said: “Health and care service providers depend on the quality, well-being and the compassionate care of their people.
“This survey indicates some worrying statistics regarding the financial pressures that people working across the health and care sector are experiencing. There is clearly a financial impact, in terms of huge lost productivity, and there will also no doubt be an impact on the ability on our people to deliver the highest quality of care.”
The report also revealed the financial pressures and the impact of this on our efficiency at work. More than half (52%) of health and care services employees said being under financial pressure affects their behaviour in the workplace – rising to 62% for those working in London. A further 53% say it affects their ability to do their job, rising dramatically to 71% of those aged between 18 and 24.
One of the key measures of financial wellbeing is having savings in the bank; a reassurance that there is a safety net available. However, the study showed that more than a third of health and care workers (36%) only have less than one month’s savings, while 58% would value financial assistance from their employer such as access to affordable loans, attractive savings, financial awareness programmes and support and guidance.
“This research demonstrates the depth of the personal financial crisis that is being experienced by working people across the UK”, comments Monica Kalia, chief strategy officer and co-founder of Neyber.
“Financial stress of this scale cannot be ignored and should not be underestimated; as it is impairing our national economic growth and the ability of people in the health sector to focus on their vital work. We need to act now to address the punitive credit costs that are driving so many health workers into unnecessary debt.”