In 2016, we conducted research into financial wellness that indicated that 22% of employed Australians are financially stressed, costing their employers an estimated $47.2 billion a year in lost revenue through absenteeism and being distracted at work*.
This year we widened the scope of the survey to reveal insights on workplace practices and recovery from financial stress.
What’s changed since 2016?
First, the good news – overall, employees have lower levels of financial stress since 2016. Disposable income, spending, and consumer confidence have been increasing steadily, and financial wellness levels are reflecting this, with more Australians feeling financially secure. National confidence in financial topics has also increased, with employees being more superannuation savvy than in 2016**.
2.4 million Australian employees are still moderately or severely financially stressed and single parent families continue to be the most at risk of financial stress, with no movement of their stress levels since 2016. And financial stress has actually increased for employees in the $50,000 - $75,000 income bracket.
So, what’s causing financial stress in 2018?
Work conditions: survey participants reported that those job sharing, working long hours, and on short term contracts were more likely to have reduced psychological and financial wellbeing***.
Income: employees who are dissatisfied with changes to their remuneration package are twice as likely to be financially stressed than their colleagues¹.
Future uncertainty: not being able to cope with unexpected expenses like emergencies or be able to save for a rainy day are the biggest concerns².
Starting a family: Expectant parents are more likely to be financially stressed than their colleagues³.
The path to recovery
Reducing discretionary spending, budgeting, goal-setting, establishing an emergency savings buffer, paying off credit card debt - the most effective strategies to recovering from financial stress might seem obvious but knowing how to tackle them can prevent people from getting started. And feelings of guilt and fear present barriers to asking for help.
It’s critical for employees to be able to access support and advice to set them on the right track.
What we can do to help
There is plenty that you can do as an employer to reduce your employees’ financial stress and promote financial wellness – and we can help you.
Our Financial Wellness Program is designed to help your staff overcome financial stresses, live their best life, and bring their best selves to work. The program ensures your employees experience a carefully thought out process, from using our online tools, speaking to a super expert on-site or attending a workshop or seminar to help employees take the next step.
The program could be tailored to your workplace and includes on-site member experiences and 1:1 sessions with members, where possible. Watch our video to see how we’re bringing financial wellness to life.
Contact your AMP account manager or your adviser to discuss how your employees could benefit from our financial wellness tools and education.
* Financial wellness in the Australian workplace (AMP) 2016
**, ***, 1, 2, 3 Financial wellness in the Australian workplace (AMP) 2018