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Financial Stress Responsible for 17.5 Million Working Hours Lost in the UK

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At least 17.5 million working hours are lost in the UK each year as a result of staff taking time off due to financial stress.

Neyber’s “DNA of Financial Wellbeing” report is the first to analyse the impact employees’ money worries have on business in the UK. It surveyed 10,000 workers and found that 70% admit to wasting a fifth of their time at work worrying about their personal finances. Those money woes consequently cost the UK economy £120.7 billion a year.

More than half (55%) of employees said being under financial pressure impacts their ability to perform their job and behaviour in the workplace. 51% said money worries affect their relationships with their colleagues and 46% said it influences their relationship with their line managers. Poor behaviour in the office and testy relationships between staff also have significant costs for businesses.

The ramifications of money woes will only grow, as younger generations make up an increasing proportion of the workforce. Within the next decade, millennials will become the majority of the UK’s workforce. These younger people are in a less financially stable position than older generations were at their age. 16% of 18- to 24-year-olds have already defaulted on debt repayments. It’s little wonder then that eight in 10 workers in this cohort are already feeling the adverse effects of money concerns—and are taking them into the office.

However, employers aren’t doing enough to assuage their staff’s financial concerns, although it would help their bottom line. More than two-thirds (67%) of employees believer their employer doesn’t care about their financial wellbeing, and only 3% would turn to their manager or HR department about their money concerns. But half say they would welcome financial assistance from their employer.

Heidi Allan, Head of Insights and Engagement at Neyber, said: “More and more workers are looking to their employer for help with financial matters and this will only increase as more millennials enter the workforce; it’s not a problem that’s going to go away.

“Employers and policymakers must act to address the growing financial wellbeing crisis. Financial education, awareness and understanding are key to making smart, well informed financial decisions.”

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