Who do you think has a role to play in the financial wellbeing of employees?
Let’s face it, everyone has a big role to play in managing their relationship with money.
You might also answer banks and building societies, money and debt advice organisations, pension providers, financial advisors, families, employers, the government and a whole host of others.
Whatever you answered, you’re not wrong. In fact, there is no one single right answer.
People’s relationship with money starts to form as soon as they are old enough to begin to understand the role it plays, and is shaped by the role modelling that they observe amongst their parents and wider family members. It’s also shaped by internal factors such as self-esteem and the beliefs they have about money.
These beliefs and associated behaviours contribute to their financial wellbeing. Feelings of financial stress can be generated whether people live according to their beliefs about money, or out of alignment with them.
Before the days of easy credit, people’s relationship with money was different. If they wanted something that they couldn’t afford to pay for right away, they had to save for it. Credit options now mean that people can spend more than ever before. Unfortunately that means that they also incur debt. According to The Money Charity £3,947 is the total unsecured debt per UK adult in July 2020 and there are 12.8 million households with either no, or less than £1,500, in savings.
So, while people have to take responsibility for their own financial wellness, it’s got to the stage where they often can’t do it on their own. It’s no surprise that financial stress is on the rise and that financial wellbeing is a hot topic.
The good news is that there are lots of people on hand to help.
At the centre of people’s relationship with money is their employer. They are often the sole or main provider of income for their employees. They also have a duty of care towards them. But should this extend to contributing to people’s financial wellbeing? And if it does, who in the company is responsible?
Here at PayCaptain our view is that employers absolutely should contribute to the financial wellness of their employees – because of the negative impact employee’s financial stress can have on the workplace. We also believe the people leading the charge should be payroll departments. If this surprises you, let us explain further. We think payroll professionals can play an important role in the overall financial wellness of the country.
For years, employers have played a role in supporting employees with their health and wellbeing. In recent years, financial support has seen a shift too from salary advances and retirement planning to incorporate wider financial planning, interest free loans and healthcare to name but a few.
Now, forward-thinking employers are embracing their role in financial wellness by looking for more innovative ways to help employees take control of their finances, to save and to spend within their means. And when it comes to financial wellness and innovative measures, the key players are payroll departments.
Payroll people are seen as financially savvy, know how much they earn, how to budget and how to save. They understand tax, and they know all the benefits that employers already offer to help people manage their money. They are the Financial Wellness Heroes waiting in the wings - and they know a good thing when they see it. Payroll Professionals are trusted, reliable and impartial and because of this employees can be more comfortable talking about money with them.
There is a huge opportunity for people to be paid differently, in a way that allows them to take control of their finances which, when combined with financial education, provides a powerful tool in improving financial resilience and financial wellbeing.
This is what we are pursuing with passion here at PayCaptain, with our genuinely innovative payroll and banking solution. It gives employees a flexible approach in how they are paid, to give them more control in managing their pay. For example:
• Salary can be split between multiple bank accounts, for example to cover savings, bills and day to day living.
• PayCaptain Accounts can be opened straight from the App for this purpose through and company branded visa debit cards can be issued.
• PayCaptain’s Money Planning Tool – a personal finance calculator for managing all income and spending in one place
• Employees can access accrued earnings for free with a pre-planned automatic weekly advance of up to £200 per week. They can also make instant tax-free charitable donations from gross pay.
PayCaptain combines payroll, banking and wellness tools in one solution, allowing employers to support and empower their employees - and employees to take control of their finances to achieve greater financial wellbeing.
It provides payroll departments with a wonderful opportunity to help boost the financial resilience of employees and to be the financial heroes we know they are.