The economic climate in the UK is doing nothing to help HR teams who have concerns around their staff’s financial wellbeing, with one in eight workers saying they would struggle to afford basics in the next sixth months, according to polling by the Trades Union Congress.

As we slowly emerge out of the worst periods of the pandemic, its lasting effects on the economy are fraught and varied. The amount of workers on Universal credit has increased by 130% to 1.3 million since the eve of Covid-19 and the rate of inflation is expected to reach over 7% by Spring 2022.

Ordinary workers who are already feeling the pinch with the cost of living rising and their wages remaining the same, can be forgiven for not reacting with altruistic glee upon Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey’s advice for workers to not ask for big pay rises to help stop prices rising out of control. Bailey, who enjoys earnings of close to £600,000 a year, made his plea a day after raising interest rates to 0.5%.

What can HR leaders do to support their employees?

Beyond being empathetic to the challenges that confront their employees and offering/highlighting financial education and awareness, providing financial wellbeing benefits that give employees a sense of security is imperative.

Hastee’s own research during the midst of the pandemic revealed that 63% of workers, up from 59% in 2020 had opted for high-cost credit in 2021, even though they knew they couldn’t keep up with repayments. For many of those that make up these figures, they simply wouldn’t have had a choice, or indeed an alternative.

At Hastee we are all about choice. We champion financial freedom and strive to end the reliance on high-cost credit, overdrafts or pay day loans by providing workers access to their earned pay when they need or want it. By giving your staff access to their earned wages, which is always inextricably linked to the work that they’ve done, employees have the autonomy and flexibility to tap into their pay to cover every day or unexpected costs, avoiding unsustainable interest rates that can build and spiral over time.

In an inflationary environment, the maxim that money today is worth more than it is tomorrow has never been truer. Why should employees give their time in-credit to their employers? Is it not more equitable, more responsible, to give them the option to access money that they’ve earned, when they most need it most?

These are the questions that we posit at Hastee, as we challenge the status quo of the monthly pay cycle. Amidst the current economic backdrop, providing employees with innovative, progressive, and tangible financial wellbeing benefits is vital for HR leaders to explore, and we believe earned wage access is one of the most impactful things you can offer your staff.

Want to find out more? Drop a comment below or get in touch directly.

This article cites figures reported in Hr magazine

 https://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/content/news/low-income-workers-relying-on-universal-credit-rise-to-1-3-million 

Inflation figures provided by 

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/knowledgebank/will-inflation-in-the-uk-keep-rising