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13 million days of work a year lost to poor financial wellbeing with the younger generation most likely to take time off due to money worries

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  • New research carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) on behalf of Aegon UK shows that lost worker days are costing employers approximately £2.5 billion annually.
  • Against a backdrop of the cost of living squeeze and soaring inflation, over 2.5 million private sector workers have taken time off in the last year due to poor financial wellbeing.
  • 4.9 million workers have seen productivity fall over the last two years due to financial concerns, with 15% admitting that they are often distracted by money worries at work.

New research and analysis carried out by CEBR on behalf of Aegon UK, shows the impact of the cost of living squeeze on employers, as workers financial wellbeing is hit by soaring inflation, interest rate hikes and rising day-to-day costs.

Analysis shows that over 2.5 million private sector workers have taken time off in the last 12 months due to poor financial wellbeing, resulting in a total of 13 million days off work. The younger generation are more likely to be absent from work due to financial worries, with 58% of under 34s taking days off work because of this.

Businesses are seeing the economic impact of employee absence due to financial concerns, with the average cost to employers for each day lost due to financial distress at £192. The overall annual cost to UK employers for this staff absence is approximately £2.5 billion a year.

Low productivity as a result of poor financial wellbeing is also impacting employers with 4.9 million employees seeing a fall in their productivity over the last two years because of financial concerns. 15% admit that they are often distracted by money worries at work, with 45% saying that is sometimes the case. This compares to just 11% who stated they had been preoccupied with health worries.

Research shows that just under one in five workers have experienced a time in the past two years where there has been a decline in their productivity due to problems related to their financial situation. This rises to 52% for under 35’s compared to just under 8% for those aged 55 and over.

Linda Whorlow, Managing Director, Workplace at Aegon comments:

“The last two years have undoubtedly been the most unpredictable and unprecedented times that most of us will experience in our lifetime and this has unquestionably impacted individuals personal finances and in turn financial wellbeing. Our research uncovers the impact that the financial worries of workers is having on businesses with a staggering number of work days lost and an unexpectedly high number of staff experiencing poor productivity as a result of financial concerns.

We have seen an increased focus on financial wellbeing in recent times and this new analysis shows that now more than ever, employers must take the financial wellbeing of their employees seriously. Many workplaces offer staff benefits to address physical wellbeing such as gym membership, but it is vital that businesses shift their mindset to support the financial wellbeing of workers. Workplaces can differentiate themselves in this area by offering staff relevant, straightforward and engaging content to support them to achieve their financial goals, be it saving for the future or paying off a credit card or loan.”

Aegon UK is committed to equipping employers to help their staff feel more in control of their money and provide the tools to support this, including financial literacy resources, debt management guidance and information on how to reach savings goals.

For more information click here.

Read the full CEBR report click here.

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