Wellbeing: 37% of workers ‘at risk’ of unpaid bills from ill-health
Ill-health puts 37% of UK workers at risk of being unable to pay their bills, according to a new report.
The new report, titled A high wire with no safety net by health and wellbeing insurance firm BHSF, claims two-thirds of the entire workforce have no sick pay provision, beyond the Statutory Sick Pay minimum of £89.35 a week for a maximum of 28 weeks.
It claims more than a quarter would resort to credit cards to fund unexpected bills, and most workers would be unable to pay household bills for a period longer than six to eight weeks.
It found those most at risk are the ‘sandwich generation’ – the 30 to 44 age group, which have higher than average unsecured debt.
The mental impact of financial stress was also highlighted with half of UK workers admitting to less sleep due to cash worries, and a third claiming such stress impacted their job performance. Some 13% said financial stress was a ‘constant problem’.
Many claimed to be able to withstand financial shocks for up to six months, despite high levels of unsecured personal debt.
Brian Hall, managing director of BHSF Employee Benefits, said the survey was ‘very worrying’ as workers were ‘in a state of denial’ over the impact of ill-health.
He said: “All it takes is one short bout of ill-health to leave two thirds of the entire UK workforce in serious financial straits which could take many years to recover from.
“Average savings will last for little more than six to eight weeks, if that.”
“It is incumbent upon employers to be brave and to help educate their workforce about financial issues such as sick pay.
“All-too-often the subject is swept under the carpet or not adequately addressed with a negative impact on employee wellbeing and mental health.”
Sleep and Fatigue: Director’s Briefing
Fatigue is common amongst the population, but particularly among those working abnormal hours, and can arise from excessive working time or poorly designed shift patterns. It is also related to workload, in that workers are more easily fatigued if their work is machine-paced, complex or monotonous.
This free director’s briefing contains:
- Key points;
- Recommendations for employers;
- Case law;
- Legal duties.