Many struggling to make ends meet.

Employers are being encouraged to support employees who are struggling financially this Debt Awareness Week (18th – 24th March), which was created to increase awareness of problem debt and the advice and solutions available to help.

More than one in five UK workers (22%) have had to borrow money from family and friends in the last year because of money worries, and a fifth have taken on debt (20%) – according to new research of over 2,000 workers by WEALTH at work, a leading financial wellbeing and retirement specialist – helping those in the workplace to improve their financial future. Over a quarter (26%) have worked more overtime, and more than one in ten workers (11%) have taken on an additional job.

Workers thought that their biggest financial concerns for the year include not having enough savings for unexpected costs (40%), not being able to save enough for the future (38%), not being able to pay basic living costs such as rent, mortgage payments, energy bills, food etc. (34%) and being in debt (29%).

The weight of this financial burden and debt anxiety has spilt into the workplace. Almost two-fifths (38%) of workers admit that money worries affect their performance at work by causing increased stress levels, mental exhaustion (33%) and decreased motivation (26%).  A fifth (20%) admitted that it led to reduced focus and concentration, and almost one in ten (9%) say it has led them to take more days off work unwell.

Despite this, fewer than one in 10 (9%) workers would seek help from their employer if they were struggling with debt. Particularly worrying is the fact 16–24 year-old workers are  just as likely to seek help from a pay day loan company (13%) as their employer (12%).

Jonathan Watts-Lay, WEALTH at work, comments, “With almost 13 million[1] UK adults facing financial difficulty, many have been forced to look for ways to help ease the strain on their finances.

Many employers recognise the need to help their employees improve the way they manage their money and therefore provide financial education and guidance in the workplace. This can make a huge difference by giving workers the opportunity to understand their finances, including ways to save money, learn about budgeting, manage debt, and how to boost savings and prepare for retirement.”

He continues, “With so few people saying that they would seek help from their employer, the onus is on employers to remove the stigma around money worries and offer easily accessible support to all staff. Through financial coaching many people discover important financial lessons that make a considerable difference to their finances and overall wellbeing which in turn can lead to increased productivity and less absenteeism in the workplace.”

[1] https://www.fca.org.uk/publications/financial-lives/financial-lives-survey-2022-key-findings
Research for WEALTH at work was carried out online by Opinion Matters throughout 14.02.2024 – 16.02.2024 amongst a panel resulting in 2,036 UK workers. Click here to see the report: https://www.wealthatwork.co.uk/corporate/2024/03/18/the-impact-of-money-worries/ 

The latest news is brought to you by WEALTH at work, a leading financial wellbeing and retirement specialist. WEALTH at work and my wealth are trading names of Wealth at Work Limited which is a member of the Wealth at Work group of companies.

Links to websites external to those of Affinity Connect (also referred to here as 'we', 'us', 'our' 'ours') will usually contain some content that is not written by us and over which we have no authority and which we do not endorse. Any hyperlinks or references to third party websites are provided for your convenience only. Therefore please be aware that we do not accept responsibility for the content of any third party site(s) except content that is specifically attributed to us or our employees and where we are the authors of such content. Further, we accept no responsibility for any malicious codes (or their consequences) of external sites. Nor do we endorse any organisation or publication to which we link and make no representations about them.