AMP has emphasised the importance of goals-based advice in addressing financial stress among Australian employees - an issue costing businesses $47 billion in annual revenue, according to research.
The Financial Wellness in the Australian Workplace report, released yesterday by AMP found that 2.86 million (24 per cent) of employed Australians are financially stressed.
“The negative impact on key performance outcomes such as job dedication, productivity, innovation, turnover, absenteeism and efficiency represents a total cost of $47.2 billion to Australian employers annually,” the report said.
According to the report, financially stressed employees lose on average 6.9 hours of productive work per week and, on average, are absent 1.3 hours per week due to stress-related sickness.
Australians say common triggers for their financial stress are bad debt (50 per cent), the need to save for retirement (35 per cent) and providing for their family (34 per cent), the report said.
Speaking to ifa, AMP director, corporate superannuation, Vicki Doyle said the research shows that employees with clear financial goals and defined plans felt financially secure.
“Advisers have a substantive role to play in helping people plan for their goals, understand what their goals are, putting a plan in place and then helping to track and achieve those goals,” she said.
Ms Doyle added that collaboration between advisers and businesses to target financial unwellness in the workplace is an effective way of reaching the 80 per cent of people who do not receive financial advice.
“This works really well ... the workplace is where we spend most of our time ... some of Australia’s major employers have it as part of their training program and ongoing education support for their people because they know it’s essential to good business,” Ms Doyle said.
Referring to specific steps that businesses can take, Ms Doyle said, “Businesses need to recognise the types of workers that they have and therefore the likelihood of the stress factors in that workplace.
"If you are a business that has more female employees or a high proportion of casual workers then you could be fairly certain that you would be more impacted by this issue than others.
“An employer could look to their superannuation provider to help them with budgeting tools, modules and online tools about how to understand superannuation, and run seminars in-house to increase education,” Ms Doyle said.
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