It’s that time of year again. A time for family, friends and festivities. But all these get togethers, presents and celebrations can come with a price.

According to research from StepChange, seven in 10 people won’t be able to comfortably afford Christmas and nearly a third would borrow money to cover the festive period.1 With so much pressure put on the purse strings during December it can leave your employees feeling worried, stressed and distracted. And, these feelings are more than likely going to continue well into the new year as those who do borrow money to buy presents and food for Christmas admitted that it will take an average of seven and a half months to pay back the debts1.

There is clearly a chance that your employees’ long-term financial health could be significantly impacted by overspending this Christmas. But as an employer, can you reduce the financial stress your employees could be under? We think you can, and here’s how:

Give the gift of time

Many employees can’t find the time to plan and budget for Christmas. It could be as simple as writing a list, planning what they can afford to spend or having the time to shop around to find the best deals. So why not give your employees an hour to get their finances in order. Just this one hour could help take the pressure off slightly and relieve some of that stress.

Communicate your benefits

Some employers offer a host of benefits all year around but when spending is at one of its highest times, it could help to reiterate what’s available. For example, you can promote your discount portal and remind employees what they can save through using it or promote any vision or dental discounts which employees might have access to but may have forgotten about. And, as some employees could be finding this time of year extremely hard, don’t forget to communicate benefits such as mental health first aiders or employee assistance programmes.

Don’t pressurise people into taking part in Christmas activities

However lovely it is to have everyone taking part in all of the activities going on over Christmas, for some there is a pressure to take part when money should be spent elsewhere. So, think about all the money your employees may have to spend at work. Charity donations, Christmas parties, secret Santa’s gifts, after work drinks or dinners. They can all stack up and so does the costs. Now, you don’t want to take away all the fun, but there are ways you can lower some of the costs. For example, holding events close to or at the office so employees don’t have to pay to travel, lower the cost of secret Santa’s gifts and best of all, highlight that these activities are optional and don’t isolate employees who don’t take part.

These are just a couple of ways to try and reduce the financial stress of your employees this Christmas. But it shouldn’t stop here. Financial education all year around is important for helping employees short, medium and long term financial health. To find out how Secondsight can help improve the financial wellbeing of your employees, contact us today.

1. https://www.yourmoney.com/household-bills/brits-will-not-clear-christmas-debt-until-summer-2020/

 

Secondsight is a trading name of Foster Denovo Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Information correct as of 10/12/2019