Lack of financial education amongst workers holding back business

A lack of basic financial knowledge in the workplace could be contributing to employee anxiety and stress related absence, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has warned.

According to a survey that questioned around 2,000 employees, more than half are facing financial struggles as a result of rising pressure on living standards, yet only a quarter receive any financial advice from their employer.

It warned that employers could be missing out on benefits gained from offering even basic financial education in the workplace.

According to the CIPD, a financial education programme within the workplace can in some cases combat employee stress and underperformance derived from anxiety associated with debt problems. Stress remains the number one cause of long-term sickness absence in the workplace.

In other instances it said that a lack of financial knowledge amongst employees means that the value of reward packages is often not acknowledged.

Reward adviser for the CIPD, Charles Cotton, acknowledged that employers are not required to offer financial advice for their employees.

"But the impact of not providing financial education can mean a workforce pre-occupied or overwhelmed by their own financial worries, and unable to appreciate the value of their organisation's pay, benefits and pensions package," he said.

The report found that employers who offer financial education programmes found it helped with staff retention and kept them more motivated.

Cotton added: "Heightening general financial awareness can create a workforce that better appreciates the business pressures faced by their employers."

Further findings revealed that nearly four in ten employees were concerned about even making ends meet, with 38 per cent worried about having enough money for daily spending, and 27 per cent concerned they were failing to save enough, particularly for retirement.

Of the quarter of employees surveyed that were offered financial advice or support, most were offered assistance programmes, while seven per cent were offered access to a financial adviser.

The CIPD has launched a guide for employers on implementing a financial education programme in the workplace which can be accessed online.