Are your employees living paycheck to paycheck?

One third of the country’s workers are under financial strain, leading to increased anxiety and soaring stress levels.

Are your employees living paycheck to paycheck?
It seems a surprising percentage of Canadian employees are under financial strain as a recent survey reveals one third of the country’s workers are living paycheck to paycheck.

“If workers are worried about their finances, it can lead to increased stress and anxiety.” said Ryan Lazar, managing director of CareerBuilder Canada – the organization that commissioned the study.

Benefits director Michelle Bradshaw agrees – “There is a natural progression from health and wellbeing, particularly from mental health and stress initiatives, to financial education.” 

The investigation, which saw more than 500 workers from all industries and organizations of every size contribute, found that only 17 per cent of people never live paycheck to paycheck.

When broken down by gender, women are more likely to report living paycheck to paycheck – 36 per cent said they always or usually live this way compared to 25 per cent of men.

The study also revealed that workers’ wages don’t always last the entire month – more than a third (34 per cent) admitted to missing a payment in the past year.

While employers can’t be held accountable for their employees’ spending habits, Lazar says organizations would benefit from getting a little involved.

“Because these financial worries can also begin to affect morale and productivity, employers may want to consider offering financial planning resources – such as complimentary webinars, classes or coaching sessions – to help employees ease their financial burdens,” he suggests.

According to the survey, Canadian workers feel they are more financially responsible following the recession yet one fifth still don’t set aside anything for savings each month.

Steve Webb, former UK minister of state for pensions, said employees everywhere are beginning to realize they might need a little help – a Workplace survey carried out earlier this year found that 87 per cent of Canadian workers want their employers to offer financial education programs.

“I think workplace advice will come to be valued more as a benefit,” Webb said, speaking at an annual HR masterclass.

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