New analysis has discovered that 2.5 million private sector employees have taken time off in the last 12 months due to poor financial wellbeing, resulting in a total of 13 million days off work.
Carried out by Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) on behalf of pension, investment and protection solutions firm Aegon UK, the research found that the younger generation are more likely to be absent from work due to financial worries, with 58% of those aged under 34 taking days off work due to this reason.
The average cost to employers for each day lost due to financial distress currently stands at £192, with the overall annual cost to UK employers approximately £2.5 billion a year.
A total of 4.9 million employees have seen a fall in their productivity over the last two years because of financial concerns, with 15% admitting that they are often distracted by money worries at work and 45% saying that is sometimes the case. Just 11% stated they have been preoccupied with health worries.
The research also revealed that 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 financial-related problems. This rises to 52% for those aged under 35, compared to just under 8% for those aged 55 and over.
Linda Whorlow, managing director, workplace, at Aegon, said: “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.”