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Money worries impact workforce productivity

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1 in 8 (13%) workers say that money worries have affected their productivity in the workplace.

The number of workers reporting financial difficulties has doubled over the last 10 years, according to a report by the Social Market Foundation (SMF). The report analyses data from both the Understanding Society study of over 40,000 households and the British Household Panel survey. 

The report also found that:

  • 4 in 10 workers (40%) say money worries have made them feel stressed over the last year
  • 24% of workers say they are “just about” managing their finances
  • 25% say they have lost sleep over money worries
  • 48% are not putting any money aside for anything more than regular bills.

Katie Evans, SMF economist and report author, said:

“This low financial resilience is a problem across industries – and it’s getting worse. The proportion of workers reporting that they face financial difficulties nearly doubled over the decade to 2013/14.

“These money worries have a clear impact on how people feel and behave as they go about their day-to-day lives and jobs.”

Monica Kalia, co-founder of employee benefits provider Neyber, commented:

“The fact that these issues are apparent across all sectors of the economy means that we have consistently failed to recognise some of the key drivers of poor productivity in the UK economy.”

The report has found that workers in well-paid industries are also having financial difficulties. The SMF has suggested some solutions to tackle the problem:

“Workplace pensions have already been introduced to build financial resilience later in life. One option is to extend auto-enrolment policies to include short-term savings or income protection insurance as well as pension savings.

“New financial mutuals, providing affordable savings and credit products using bonds of trust between those in particular professions, could be one way of building a culture of financial resilience through the workplace.”

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