Whether it’s buying presents for friends and family, attending the annual work Christmas party or hosting guests, almost everyone ends up overspending. Whilst overindulgence in the month of December is common practice, it can lead to serious money challenges, stress and discomfort for millions of workers returning to work in the New Year.
Reports suggest that over the Christmas break 87% of Brits purchased gifts for friends, colleagues and family members. It has been estimated that each person spent an average of £390.56, collectively around £14.2 billion in total. It was also suggested that most gift-givers (81.5%) tapped into their savings to pay for some or all their purchases.
Worse still, just under one in 10 (9.1%) said they would be using a personal loan, and some will also be borrowing from friends and family (8.9%) to pay for gifts over Christmas.
All too often it is easy for employers to view these issues as only affecting workers in lower income brackets, when in fact financial shortfalls impact many millions of people every year. For example, analysis by the debt advice charity National Debtline, estimates that 16% of Britons, the equivalent to around 7.9 million people will fall behind in their finances for the month of January, due to overspending at Christmas.
There are many factors surrounding this, with soaring transport fares and rising living costs eating into disposable income budgets at an alarming rate.
For business leaders and human resources (HR) directors, these issues can have a profound impact on both the morale and well-being of staff. Whilst January has always been seen as a gloomy month, the pressures on ordinary working people are inflaming mental health problems, stress and sickness.
These are serious issues that require practical solutions. This research paper has been commissioned by GettaSub, the new financial employee benefits platform to examine the financial challenges facing UK workers and put forward proposals on how to tackle these issues.
Background and methodology
GettaSub commissioned Censuswide, the independent polling company to interview 2,000 UK workers about their attitudes to their personal finances, spending habits and issues of concern around personal debt. The polling took place in the month of January 2019.
The GettaSub programme enables UK employees to access short-term finance (30-45 days) via their employer. The company is FCA regulated and prides itself on offering ethical borrowing via payroll loans to employees, which is deductible directly from their salaries at zero risk to themselves or the employer.
Already, many organisations in both the public and private sector have implemented GettaSub as part of their financial benefits packages for employees.