Publication Serving All: Exploring the role of businesses in developing financial security, wellbeing and inclusion strategies

by Scarlett Brown _______31st January 2020

Executive Summary

If work used to be the best route out of poverty, then that is no longer true for everyone. We are facing a crisis of the working poor, as British workers experience extreme financial insecurity and associated mental health issues. It is a crisis that is undermining family stability and impacting the productivity and performance of British industry. It is a crisis that is having a particularly pernicious impact on women in the workforce. It is a crisis we must urgently address together.

This report will show how employee worries lead to operational and financial challenges for companies, as employees take time from work to address the issues which arise from their financial stress. In addition, employee performance diminishes, as employees are less able to focus on their tasks, have lower engagement, produce lower quality work and have higher rates of accidents. Human Resources departments are expending significant amounts of time and money to address challenges of engagement, performance, and mental health, but they are doing so after the fact. This report argues that employers should instead be working upstream, by proactively supporting financial security first.

Employees recognise this and also believe that, if their employers offered the right financial benefits and tools, their work would improve.
Addressing financial insecurity head-on makes an employer’s role vitally important because, despite a surge in financial, technical and social innovation, the approaches being developed are simply not reaching workers in need quickly enough. Simply put, the market isn’t working well.
Organisations need to play a central role in enabling workers to get the financial, social and personal support that they need.

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