Demand for financial savings on day-to-day shopping and living expenses via employee perks and benefits continues to rise, new data has revealed.
March and April user data confirms employees are using financial benefits more, with downloads of shopping discounts for retailers including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, and Morrisons up by 10 percent month-on-month.
Discounts on mobile-based retail and day-to-day spending savings from the benefits app have also increased – up by six percent from March to April.
When compared to shopping and mobile discounts accessed by Engage users in the last six months of 2022, the volume of retail discounts downloaded is significantly higher – the difference between data for last year’s Q3 and Q4 showed just a two percent increase.
The figures publish as the findings of new research commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation reveal one in ten (10%) of UK adults feel hopeless about their financial circumstances.
The Mental Health Foundation’s Uncertain Times: Anxiety in the UK and how to tackle it Report also makes it clear that financial stress is giving rise to anxiety across the UK. It reveals the most commonly reported cause of anxiety is being able to afford to pay bills, reported by 25 percent of respondents, while 40 percent say that financial security would help prevent anxiety.
Other data* published by CIPD reveals that only two in five employers (42%) have a financial wellbeing policy, either standalone or as part of a wider employee health and wellbeing strategy (31%), and that two in five (39%) employers do not have a financial wellbeing policy nor plan to introduce one.
“Fueled by rising inflation, interest rates and the cost of living crisis, the real value of workers’ pay has dropped, meaning huge numbers of people are struggling to make financial ends meet,” says David McCormack, CEO of HIVE360. “Employee benefits are one significant and cost neutral solution that employers can use to provide their workforce with tangible financial support, and have the potential to play a huge role in enhancing an employee’s life, both at and away from work.
“The latest user figures for the financial benefits accessed via our Engage employee benefits app would suggest that growing numbers of workers lucky enough to have these kinds of discounts and savings available to them, are using them more and more.
“Access to shopping discounts can help significantly to cover some of the inflationary pressures. Employees taking advantage of these and other discounts on our Engage app can potentially save the equivalent of a £1600 gross salary increase when used consistently for everyday shopping and lifestyle spending,” David adds.
David adds: “Businesses looking for cost effective tools to help workers manage spiralling inflation and soaring living costs, as well as optimise talent attraction and retention strategies, should find out how employee benefits make a difference. A customised digital mobile employee benefits and rewards package that is focused on employee engagement, benefits, rewards, and retail discounts is the ideal delivery method.
“Given growing evidence of the impact financial worries is having on people feeling stressed, anxious and hopeless about personal finances, employers should aim to include 24/7 confidential support of employees’ mental and financial health and wellbeing as part of their employee benefits and rewards solution,” he says.
*Analysis by HIVE360
*Source: CIPD Labour Market Outlook – Spring 2023: Labour Market Outlook – Spring 2023 | CIPD