Talk Money Week

Insight

Published

08 November 2021

It’s Talk Money Week, an initiative designed to encourage people to more openly discuss personal finance issues. 

And the benefits of talking about – and understanding – money issues go far further than just improved finances alone.  To quote from the Talk Money Week website;

“By having a conversation you can improve your physical, mental, and financial wellbeing”

So understanding finances can improve wider wellbeing.  Which also makes this a topic that employers should take note of and embrace. 

Talk Money in the Workplace

Indeed the supporting collateral for the Talk Money Week initiative includes a short section aimed specifically at workplace interventions. 

This section cites research from 2019 which suggested that 55% of employers didn’t offer any support to improve financial wellbeing, whilst 77% of employees admit to worrying about money at work.  It follows that there may well be something of a mismatch in the support being offered to workers.

The report outlines some suggested interventions that employers can take, including:

  • Use Talk Money Week to help make a case for financial wellbeing as part of your wellbeing strategy. 
  • Launch a staff survey to help you understand your colleagues’ money worries
  • Promote the support your organisation offers at key life stages such as retirement and parental leave
  • Promote the financial wellbeing support you already provide to employees

These are important first steps that Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing would encourage many more employers to actively consider at any time, and particularly given the personal financial pressures of the moment.

More relevant than ever?

For this year’s Talk Money Week coincides with a very real cost of living crisis for millions of employees and their households across the United Kingdom. 

As we explored in this Personnel Today article only last week, there are many financial pressures building rapidly on personal finances in the run up to the festive season. 

And indeed the squeeze on incomes may well last far longer still,  The Governor of the Bank of England (BOE) warned last week that inflation might hit 5% by April next year, and that this measure could remain above the BOE’s target of 2% for the next 2 years.

One response to this issue might be a BOE base rate increase, which over time might help contain some of those inflationary pressures.  But in the short term this is likely to pile additional financial pressures on to those with variable rate mortgages and borrowing to be repaid.

Time to take action?

The reality is that more employees may be struggling to balance their income and expenditure in the months ahead.  And, as we covered at the beginning of this item, that can lead to problems with their mental and physical wellbeing too. 

None of which is good for employers, many of which are desperate to return to pre-pandemic levels of income and productivity.

It follows that now might be the right moment for employers of all sizes to review and enhance their support for employee financial wellbeing. 

For more information on any of the above topics, please speak to your usual Howden Consultant in the first instance, or visit our website for other contact options.  

Published 08/11/21

Steve Herbert

Steve Herbert

Steve is Head of Benefits Strategy, Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing, and is an award-winning thought leader on Pensions, Employee Benefits, and Human Resources issues. He is occasionally accused of making Employee Benefits interesting.

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