The Workers Union is calling on employers to offer additional support to employees struggling with financial issues in the wake of the pandemic.
The announcement comes as the Willis Towers Watson “Future of Financial Wellbeing Survey” found that 36 percent of employers believe that Coronavirus has damaged their staff’s financial wellbeing.
Willis Towers Watson also found that over 60 percent of employers are failing to provide any kind of financial wellbeing assistance – although many expect to do so over the next couple of years.
The news echoes a recent report published by the Financial Conduct Authority, which said that the number of people struggling with low or inconsistent income, debt, and low savings has rocketed from 10.7 million before COVID, to 14.2 million by the end of October 2020.
To cope with the additional burdens placed on household budgets, the FCA said that up to 17.5 million adults could go without essentials, with as many as 5.6 million turning to foodbanks to help them.
The Workers Union on Financial Wellbeing
The COVID pandemic came like the swing of an enormous hammer. Despite being so large that the arc of its arrival could be seen before impact, when it finally touched down on these shores the resulting quake surprised even the most informed of observers. For this was no mere flu – it’s effects were felt everywhere, with scores of businesses going into meltdown, shops closed, people marooned in their houses and schools standing empty behind padlocked gates.
In just over a year, the virus has rippled outwards to infect every area of our society – with more perhaps to come once the government support tap is finally turned off. It is no wonder, then, that many workers have struggled to make ends meet when shifts have became scarce and jobs vulnerable.
There are no easy answers to this. Some might say that the recent predictions of a spike in economic activity will offer the country’s hard-pressed workers the opportunities they need. Others would readily argue that the state needs to take a more interventionist approach.
The truth, as it so often does, lies somewhere between the two. We need to see more from employers in terms of providing one-to-one and generic support for financial planning. We need a swift return to economic health so that working people have options and opportunities once again.
But we also need the government to follow through on its levelling up agenda by thinking as much about people’s struggles on the ground, as pumping money into grand infrastructure projects.
The Workers Union – fighting for social justice, fighting for you