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Signs that cost of living crisis is starting to bite

Adrian Lewis, Director - Activ People HR

New research* reveals employees are too worried to take a sick day in case their finances suffer, shows it is essential for businesses to regularly check in with and offer support to their staff says Adrian Lewis, Commercial Director at Activ People HR.

The research found almost a quarter (23%) of Brits admit to feeling, or have felt, worried about their finances if they were too ill to go to work, with women more affected by money worries than men.

A fifth (21%) said they would be concerned their boss or other colleagues would not believe they are poorly and 20% worry about the volume of work they will come back to.

Adrian says, “Spiralling energy and food prices, along with rising inflation will impact us all this year, but employees must not feel they can’t take time off sick because they are concerned about money .

“Likewise, it’s a poor reflection on British workplaces if people think their boss might not believe they were poorly or they feel overwhelmed by the amount of work they may come back to. Fostering a more supportive work culture could change this and make employees feel like they can approach their manager with any such concerns.

“We recommend all businesses carry out regular one to one interviews with employees, whether that’s regular appraisals system, monthly meetings or through return to work interviews after someone has been off sick. Creating a safe space to speak with an employee could reveal issues which could be tackled.”

“It could mean working with an individual to better manage their workload, reducing their pressures which could also positively impact their wellbeing. Creating an open and caring working environment will be key to supporting workers through the cost of living crisis and ensuring it doesn’t have too much of a detrimental effect on their financial or mental wellbeing.”

Adrian adds, “Having a robust system in place for managing appraisals, sickness and return to work interviews can help mangers check in with employees regularly and provide an opportunity for anyone who is concerned and worried about money issues or anything else to speak up.”

*Research from MetLife UK

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