Employees in Bristol are taking more sick days due money worries, according to a financial trainer.
Jo Thresher, of Better With Money, has called for better education around money in the workplace – to improve efficiency, profitability and happiness.
Jo, who has worked for multi-million pound corporations, said: “If an employer can give financial guidance then they can help reduce stress.
“This is a win-win situation as it reduces absence, improves profitability and leads to happier, healthier employees.”
The mum-of-four, who is based at Bristol and Bath Science Park, spoke at the Royall Wealth Club’s event, which is aimed at helping people make the most of their money while supporting their community.
Nearly 10 million working days are lost through stress in the workplace in the UK. Of those days, nearly half are due to financial stress.
And Bristol has seen the biggest rise in the numbers of people seeking help for debt in the UK over the last quarter, according to data compiled by debt support organisation Creditfix.
[as reported in the Bristol Post in February http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/business/bristol-sees-biggest-rise-debt-2170 ]
The latest UK Personal Debt Index (PDI) found the percentage of people who own their own home fell to 8.5 per cent of survey respondents, compared to the previous quarter when it stood at 10.5 per cent.
The cost of rent is a big worry for Bristolians– which is on average half their wage, a study by the University of Bristol found.
Jo, who has worked in finance for nearly 30 years, said: “People in Bristol are spending so much on rent it can start to impact on their work life. Financial education in the workplace needs to become the norm.
“If employers can help their employees better manage personal finances, it can improve their mental and physical health.
“It is a long-term solution, which can make a real positive difference in a business.”
A survey carried out by ‘The Actuary’, a body which measures risk in business, found that 79 per cent of British people want financial education in the workplace – but 40 per cent said they receive little or no financial help from their employers.
Jo said employers could easily help their staff with little effort by making use of their Employee Assistance Plans or providing education around government initiatives such as Help to Buy, Lifetime ISA’s and Childcare vouchers.
Derrick Royall, a wealth manager with 20 years’ experience in finance and founder of the club, said: “If employees are losing sleep worrying about money, then they won’t perform at their best at work. I like Jo’s approach, which involves educating people.”
Other guest speakers at the event at Bordeaux Quay included Ian Townsend, CEO of Bristol Green Capital CIC, and the Woman of the Year at the Bristol and Bath Women in Business Awards, Vashti Seth, founder of Deki.
Deki is a charity which provides micro loans to people in developing countries so they can start businesses, helping them to in turn help grow their economy.
The next Royall Wealth Club event, ‘healthy body, healthy mind,’ will include guest speakers Dr Judy Haworth, Dementia Research Specialist at Southmead Hospital and Ben Smith, who ran 401 marathons in 401 days.
It will take place at Bordeaux Quay on Tuesday, July 4, from 6pm. Proceeds from the evening will go to charities BRACE, Dementia Research and the 401 Challenge.
For more information about the Royall Wealth Club, visit http://www.royallwealthclub.com/home