Fintech Firm Wagestream Releases Australian State of Financial Wellbeing Report

Financial wellbeing Fintech Wagestream, with research and analysis from Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, has launched the inaugural Australian State of Financial Wellbeing Report in a bid “to identify how employers can better alleviate financial stress in the workplace for struggling employees.”

The report is “one of the largest pieces of research into employee financial wellbeing globally, undertaken during a time when cost of living pressures are increasing.”

The research “covered 1,004 employees and 496 human resources professionals encompassing a wide range of industries and business sizes across Australia, and was supplemented by Roy Morgan analysis of their single source data to measure the financial wellbeing of Australian employees.”

It revealed a glaring disconnect “between employees and HR professionals when it came to financial wellbeing tools at work.”

Almost all HR professionals (84 percent) “acknowledged that financial wellbeing is related to employee mental health, yet only 58 percent of HR professionals said their organization offers any financial wellbeing tools and a smaller number of 33 percent have a financial wellbeing strategy in place.”

This might explain why “only 36 percent of employees believe their organisation offers financial wellbeing support.”

Employees also “expressed a high need and desire for financial wellbeing help from employers.”

Almost 30 percent of employees “run short of money for food and regular expenses, less than 50 percent are able to save regularly, and close to 40 percent struggle to meet bills and commitments from time to time.”

One in two employees said they would “think more favourably of my employer” and almost one in two would even “be more likely to stay at my employer” if their employer offered financial wellbeing tools to assist with these issues.

Employees under 40 years old “are more likely to say they want financial wellbeing support from their employer.” Given the median age of an employee in Australia “is around 37 years old, this is an important group to consider, especially in relation to future talent acquisition and retention.”

But despite all of this, “just 6 percent of HR professionals are currently considering the implementation of a financial wellbeing program within the next 12 months.” This represents “a huge missed opportunity” according to Wagestream Australia CEO, Josh Vernon.

Josh Vernon said:

“Financial wellbeing occurs when an individual can meet their current commitments and needs comfortably, and has the financial resilience to maintain this in the future. If every employee in Australia was experiencing financial wellbeing right now, we would have a significantly happier and healthier, and far more engaged and productive labour force.”

Vernon added:

“Yet our State of Financial Wellbeing Report reveals that employers in Australia are not taking advantage of the huge opportunity to boost their employees’ financial wellbeing through a range of readily-available resources and tools. Despite a majority of HR professionals knowing employees need more help in this regard, the data shows that only a tiny minority are planning or able to roll out a financial wellbeing program in the next year.”

As noted in the update:

“Employers who take the financial wellbeing of their staff seriously see great reward – roughly one in two employees would think more favourably of their employer or even stay with their employer if they offered financial wellbeing tools. The current tight employment market makes this even more critical given employers are competing heavily to attract, recruit, and retain high quality staff.”

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