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UK employers fall short on financial education

Less than half of employees are offered financial education or counselling, while access to benefits and pension information is also limited, new research has found.

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58 percent of workers don’t fully understand their payslips
58 percent of workers don’t fully understand their payslips

A new survey of 2,000 British workers across major industries such as retail, manufacturing and financial services, suggests that British businesses aren’t doing enough to support financial literacy, and are consequently missing opportunities to improve productivity, wellbeing, and staff retention.

 

The research from Zellis shows that less than half (44 percent) offer programmes to help employees make informed financial choices and boost their overall financial wellbeing. It also indicates a clear need for more financial education in the workplace, as the majority of workers (58 percent) don’t fully understand their payslips and only a quarter (24 percent) look at their statement every month.

 

Many also struggle to access important information about their employment package, with 40 percent claiming they don’t know the total value of their benefits and rewards, despite ranking it as the second most important factor after base salary when looking for a job.

 

Additionally, nearly a third (32 percent) of employees said they aren’t given enough information about the benefits available to them, while a quarter (25 percent) said the same about their pension options, preventing them from making choices that truly meet their financial needs.

 

The research found that access to financial education would help with employee engagement and wellbeing:

  • 63 percent said they would feel more looked after;
  • 33 percent said they would be more loyal to their employer;
  • 31 percent said they would feel less stressed about money issues.

The vast majority (88 percent) of employees aged 18 to 34 said such initiatives would have a positive impact on their personal situation, compared to just 69 percent of employees aged 35 and over. This correlates with numerous studies which suggest that millennial and Gen Z workers feel the most vulnerable in their financial situation.

 

For businesses already struggling with productivity, financial stress leads to lower levels of engagement and concentration, as well as a higher rate of absenteeism.

 

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