Why are Aussie employees struggling to pay bills?

The study found that workers overwhelmingly expect their jobs should better contribute to both their financial and personal wellbeing

Why are Aussie employees struggling to pay bills?

A new study has looked at the latest insights into the state of employment in Australia, and its impact on the daily lives of everyday Aussies.

The research by Employment Hero surveyed 1,001 full- and part- time working Australians and reveals that employees overwhelmingly expect that their jobs should better contribute to both their financial and personal wellbeing.

The study found that half of Australian employees (52%) admit to having difficulty meeting financial commitments, with power bills and credit card balances causing the greatest problems.

Furthermore, over 2.5 million workers have taken out a payday loan to meet these financial demands, highlighting the growing amount of debt everyday Australians possess.

Millennials are most inclined to seek payday loans, with over a third (37%) taking out a loan, compared to Gen X (26%) and Baby Boomers (10%).

It also found that one million workers look for added benefits that enable them to save money when weighing up a new job, with millennials most likely to be influenced by an employer’s benefits on offer.

Ben Thompson, founder and CEO for Employment Hero, said Australia’s wage price index has trended steadily down over the last decade, “impacting directly on employees’ standards of living”.

Thompson added that technology has allowed us to spend anytime and anywhere, but it hasn’t given us access to our own money any quicker. Instead, Australians have slowly taken on more debt through loans and credit.

The release of the national employment study accompanies a new suite of employee-focused features launched by Employment Hero, designed to address many of the common pain points faced by Australian employees. Employment Hero’s WorkLife suite aims to redefine the employment experience and help dollars go further for everyday Australians.

The new features aim to help employees better access, manage and save their pay, allow their income to stretch further, improve overall work life and create tangible benefits for life outside of work, according to Employment Hero.

Thompson added that the roll-out of the new suite of features is “transforming the conversation around wages”.

“We want to break this cycle by giving employees access to their own money, when they need it most,” said Thompson.

“On this point, we’ve found that both the prospect of setting your own pay date and tracking spending and savings is especially popular among millennials -- who are the future workforce, after all.”

The data revealed other key findings including:

  • More than one million workers would be tempted to leave a job if the employer was not offering benefits, such as discounts on groceries, petrol and gym membership.
  • Non-financial benefits that appeal most to employees include further education (30%), as well as mental wellness initiatives, like counselling and wellness policies (26%).
  • The key workplace benefits that help maintain the physical and mental wellbeing of Australian employees are: flexible working (63%), evidence the company cares about mental wellbeing (39%) and shows it cares for employees (35%).


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