New research from global employee engagement company, Reward Gateway, has found that a whopping 53% of people are stressed about finances over Christmas. To tackle these Christmas costs, 40% of British workers use money from their savings, 32% use credit cards to cover the costs, 21% have had to use money from their overdrafts, and 10% rely on borrowing money from parents.
The study, which surveyed 1,196 British workers, found that British workers collectively overspend an average of £5.95 billion during the festive period. It took workers an average of almost three months to pay off this spending. Despite this financial burden, only 16% of those surveyed receive financial support from their employers.
The impact could be detrimental to companies, with 53% of employees admitting that financial worries distract them from their daily activities over the festive season, while over a third said they find it harder to be motivated over Christmas.
The demand for financial wellbeing solutions is apparent. Over half of British workers highlighted that they would use savings on everyday purchases such as groceries and daily travel, 31% would use gym and exercise savings and 28% would use free financing on high price products such as white goods, if it was available to them from their employer. One such example of employee savings is Reward Gateway’s Employee Discount and Salary Deduction solutions, where users saved nearly £2 million over the Black Friday shopping week alone.
Rob Boland, Group Director of Product & Client Success at Reward Gateway comments: “It’s no surprise that financial worries are a prominent distraction at work, but what is a surprise is how few companies offer financial wellbeing support to their employees. There are simple, cost-effective ways to help your employees with their financial wellbeing from getting an advisor in for the day for one-to-one sessions, to offering salary deduction and salary sacrifice schemes to allow workers to spread out the costs of expensive items such as white goods or travel.”
“Over this year’s Black Friday week, where many shoppers buy gifts for loved ones, our users saved nearly £2 million, helping to alleviate holiday financial pressures. Going into the New Year, many workers will be paying off the inevitable overspend and so, to help employers to help their employees, we’ve launched adownloadable eBook on financial wellbeing, which includes everything from no-cost ideas to more long-term solutions.”
Paul Nelson, Head of Reward at Travis Perkins plc said: “Over the year, our colleagues have saved £671,000. This is an important part of our financial wellbeing programme, helping our colleagues to make savings on their non-discretionary purchases and easing the pressures of holiday shopping.”
Jenny has been reporting on small business issues since 2001 where she held a number of freelance positions across the leading SME publications in the UK. Specialist subjects included SME financing and tax.