60% of workers living in London have missed work because of money problems according to a new study by Hastee Pay. The research reveals a nationwide problem with 39% of workers across the UK having skipped work as they’d been unable to afford the commute, but the figures show that Londoners are worse off when it comes to balancing their finances between pay days.
89% of Londoners have to source additional funds between pay days, relying on various forms of high cost credit such as payday loans, credit cards and overdrafts. With a national average of 82%, the statistics reveal that Londoners face a tougher struggle when it comes to making their pay stretch to the end of the month. More than a third of Londoners (38%) have experienced difficulty with payday loans, and one quarter dip into their savings every month.
While London workers are worse off than the rest of the UK, London employers are doing more to help workforces with their finances than employers outside the capital. A quarter of employers in London offer some form of financial wellbeing programme which is more than 10% higher than the national average of just 14%.
“London’s hard workers are struggling to make it to the end of the month without using some form of high cost credit, and this is a trend we’re seeing across the UK. It’s not entirely surprising that Londoners are feeling particularly stretched given the higher costs of living and commuting, but when workers are unable to afford the basics, such as travel, we need to take action,” says James Herbert, founder and CEO of Hastee Pay.
“Thankfully, the capital’s employers have a healthier attitude towards increasing financial wellbeing in the workforce and are ahead of the curve when it comes to employee benefits, though there is more to be done. Employers need to explore the digital money management tools that are widely available and often free to implement. But they also need to address the financial education deficit that is evident in today’s workforces by placing financial wellbeing higher on the HR agenda.”
The research also revealed that 67% of London workers would consider turning down a job if the commute costs too much and the vast majority (75%) will take pay frequency into consideration when looking for a new job.
“Reliance on high cost credit isn’t just limited to low income workers,” Herbert added. “Those earning hundreds of thousands of pounds are also using high cost credit between pay days. To recruit and retain workers, and stop business productivity from declining, employers need to work quickly to increase financial wellbeing across the whole workforce.”