At Goodman Masson our philosophy relies on helping our employees wake up happy and we understand that there are many things which factor into achieving this aim. Whilst in the wider working world there’s been a spotlight on mental wellbeing, it seems we’re not quite nailing financial wellbeing yet, with 63% of employees having been negatively affected by financial worries in the last year, and 45% claiming these worries have affected their performance at work.
In such a turbulent climate, with a wide disconnect between the economic classes, the issues that pepper the papers would preferably be left at the door, however it’s clear from the statistics that monetary issues are affecting our work lives. Of course, all companies should be paying a fair living wage, the fact that the national minimum wage differs from the living wage at all is flabbergasting to most of us, however even when raking in a comfortable salary we can’t always predict disasters, and from time-to-time employees can find themselves scraping by.
Below we’re taking a look at some of the financial issues that have hit the headlines recently, along with some helpful hints on how companies can help their employees avoid slipping into a monetary mess.
A recent study has found that nearly 2/3rds of Londoners have skipped work, as they were unable to pay for the commute. Over a lifetime, workers travelling into London will spend on average £197,377 before they retire, almost twice as high as those living elsewhere in the UK, at 47p per mile. These figures make it a little more understandable that when it comes to the end of the month some workers are unable to cough up the cash.
At Goodman Masson, we offer travel loans to our employees which allows them to purchase the years travel in one go and then have a little taken out of their pay each month to cover the cost. Feedback on this scheme has been incredibly positive, as it’s one less thing to budget, however it’s not the only solution. We can also help our employees cut down on costs by simply implementing effective working from home schemes, however it might be worth noting that in the winter heating the house might actually cost you more than a tube ride.
89% of people in London say that they’ve had to source additional funds to make it until payday, dipping into savings or applying for loans, and whilst this is worrying, it’s nothing on the revelation that ½ of all Londoners have applied for high-cost credits, like pay day loans, in the past year, possibly thrusting them into a cycle of debt.
Hastee Pays’ CEO says this could be solved by simply adjusting pay flow, a move which has been praised by the younger generation. His claim that “we now live in a pay on demand basis” rings home with those who have previously been on weekly paid, zero-hour contracts, but who are now struggling with managing larger sums. Looking at how often to pay employees may help certain people get to the end of the month a little smoother. Another way to also successfully target this issue; we invite financial experts into the office who are able to help our employees with budgeting and saving.
“The information Adam Percival gave us about pensions was very useful. It was interesting to see how the contributions will ramp up over the next few years. I need to organise some of my financial affairs and I’ve now been referred to one of his colleagues who can help with wealth management.” – Darren Williams, Associate Director, Goodman Masson
Regardless of political leaning, one thing we can all agree on is the necessity of protecting children from hardship. However, recently, an issue which has been causing outrage across the western world, is so called ‘poor lunches’ in which children are shamed in order to force their parents into settling lunch debts, often by replacing their meal with bread and milk or even throwing their food away entirely. Having children can be expensive but governments, schools and companies should be doing what we can to ease that burden and to not make it worse, as it’s surprisingly easy for people to slip into troubles. In fact, a lone parent who earns less than £1,287 per month is actually classed as being below the poverty line, with that number set to rise when the most recent figures are released this year.
At Goodman Masson, we hope to make the ride into parenthood a little less bumpy by offering a new parent loan, which works in much the same way as our travel loan, as well as childcare vouchers. Other companies have tackled this issue with a whole variety of solutions, from on-site childcare, to increased paid paternity leave.
It’s not news that there’s a housing crisis, which has been disproportionately affecting Londoners over the past decade. The average house price in the capital is now 13.24 times the average annual income and yet most banks will typically only lend mortgages up to 4.5 times gross salary, making it near impossible for average Joe to purchase property in the city. It doesn’t get that much easier when you head further out either, as the country average is 8 times and the lowest is 5.18 in the North East, still over the bank’s limits.
We talk about this further, as well as the movements ourselves and other companies have made to help our employees get on the property ladder here.