EXCLUSIVE: Halfords launches staff financial wellbeing services

Automotive and cycling products retailer Halfords has introduced a new initiative for its more than 10,000 team members to build financial resilience and improve wellbeing.

Partnering with fintech Wagestream, the range of services, which have  been gradually rolled out over the past few weeks and are now live across the business, will enable employees to have access to a platform that provides financial budgeting, savings and education, built around a flexible pay cycle, also known as earned wage access (EWA).

According to the business, this was launched alongside charities and campaigners stating that locked monthly pay has become a “hidden debt trap” for working adults. They also called on employers to roll out financial wellbeing policies and flexible pay, through which businesses can offer staff flexible access to wages already earned and owed throughout the month.

Wendy Taylor, chief people officer at Halfords, explained that supporting, developing and empowering people has always been central to the business’ success, and staff resilience meant that it could not only operate as an essential retailer during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, but is “ready to go from strength to strength” as the UK opens back up.

“That’s why we’re partnering with Wagestream to roll out a financial wellbeing programme that’s backed by leading charities and proven by data to improve quality of life. We’re proud to be the UK’s first listed retailer taking this step and excited to see the positive impact it will have on all our colleagues,” she said.

Halfords was named one of the ‘Best Big Companies To Work For’ by the Sunday Times in 2020, and in the same year, the business set up a Here to Help fund, which provided emergency financial support to members of staff struggling with uncertainty and financial stress as a result of the Coronavirus lockdowns.