As the cost-of-living crisis takes its toll on people’s financial and mental wellbeing, what can HR and business leaders do to help their employees in these challenging economic times?
The solution is three-fold:
- Help them access money when they need it, not just on payday, and help them make their money go further.
- Empower people with financial education to understand their situation better.
- Provide them with the tools they need to better manage their money and develop financial resilience.
Why is financial education so important?
According to our financial wellbeing research, just 1 out of every 7 employees feels very confident in using numbers at work. The vast majority lack confidence with numbers. This lack of confidence often means that employees avoid engaging with their personal finances.
This is certainly the case when it comes to pay. Employees who struggle with numbers are less likely to review their payslips (just 37% say they look at them every month). Nearly half of all employees question their ability to spot a tax code error (48%) or pension-related inaccuracy (43%). Even more problematic, 50% say that in the current climate, a payroll mistake would lead to immediate financial difficulty.
This widespread lack of financial education is an urgent issue that needs to be addressed at scale if we want to support our people’s financial wellness. That’s where technology comes into play.
Building financial smarts into the software
At Zellis, we recognise the responsibility that comes with being a payroll custodian. We’re on a mission to help people better understand their payslips. That’s why we’ve built financial education into both our existing functionality and our future product road map.
MyPay: putting an end to payslip complexity
Our self-service payroll module, MyPay, is designed to give employees anytime/anywhere access to their payslips, making it quick and easy for them to check, manage, and obtain their own information and pay history. But more than this, MyPay also supports financial awareness by improving employees’ understanding of how benefits and pension contributions affect their net pay.
Employees can use MyPay to view their payslips via multiple breakdowns and visualisations. This makes it easier to compare and plan their pay, month by month. And if they’re still unsure about anything, MyPay’s comprehensive FAQ section is there to provide helpful information and guidance. This support tool that can also significantly reduce the number of queries being directed to your payroll and HR teams.
Earned Wage Access: a reassuring safety net
While financial education is certainly a key part of the solution, millions of employees still struggle to make ends meet. Those people need help now and that’s why we’ve recently launched ‘Earned Wage Access’. This tool is being built directly into the Zellis MyView app.
With Earned Wage Access, our customers can provide their people with a critical financial safety net. Employees can use Earned Wage Access to obtain a percentage of their salary before payday. This option helps people to pay unexpected expenses like a tyre replacement or fixing a faulty boiler, while avoiding the high interest rates that come with payday loans and credit card debt.
As the number of employees needing to use this tool continues to increase, we’re also building good financial behaviours into our technology.
Moneyhelper: financial support at your fingertips
We’re committed to ongoing investment to support the financial wellbeing of customers’ employees. We have an exciting roadmap of new features that will support employees. Financial resources and information can already be added into the Zellis platform.
For example, our platform can now point employees to Moneyhelper. This UK government-backed website provides free and impartial financial support. So, Zellis users can now access information on budgeting, banking, managing money, and reducing debt, straight from their MyView instance.
Moving forward, the product is being developed to nudge users towards responsible financial behaviours through automated notifications and positive reinforcement. Employees who regularly access funds ahead of their scheduled payday will receive notifications to ensure that they’re fully aware of their pay status, and prompting them to think carefully before continuing to use the tool.
These are just some of the ways we’re developing our product to help people manage their money in the current climate and develop positive financial behaviours.
To learn more about how employers can promote financial wellbeing and resilience, read our recent article.