MoneyMagpie

Dec 02

Festive finances put employees at risk of debt

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s all too easy to overspend.

With gifts, food and extra guests to cater for, it’s very common to get swept up in the festivities.

But according to one of the UK’s leading free debt advice provider PayPlan, Christmas could be the tipping point for people already struggling with their finances, as debt enquires in January increase, once the pressure of Christmas is over.

Jane Clack, money adviser at PayPlan said:

“We completely understand the pressure people face at this time of year. Of course, the harsh reality then hits in January, as our figures show. Looking at the last three years, inquiries have gone up by an average of 50% in the first month of the year.”

In 2015, a YouGov study showed a fifth of people were paying for Christmas using credit cards or Pay Day loans.

So as the festivities get under way, do employers have a duty to help if they suspect their employees are struggling with debt?

It’s inevitable that money worries can affect productivity in the workplace.

According to The Money Charity, 209 people are declared insolvent or bankrupt every day so it’s likely that employers will manage someone with financial problems at some point in their working lives, which can be detrimental to any business, with many employees struggling to pay attention and making mistakes.

The biggest challenge that employers face is encouraging employees to come forward and ask for help in the first place. As finances are still typically considered a sensitive topic, many employees might feel nervous about revealing they’re in financial trouble to their boss.

So having a good, open relationship is a great way to show support.

Even if they don’t want to talk about their debt, it’s important for an employer to make their presence known.

Alternatively offering an employee wellbeing programme can be a great benefit to those employees struggling with their finances.

Many programmes offer debt counselling or advice and support so staff will always have the support readily available if they need it.

In an attempt to help change people’s mindset about debt at Christmas time, PayPlan has launched a new online campaign. It features an animated Christmas poem that explains just how widespread the issue is, helping people to understand they are not alone in their money troubles and showcasing the support available.

For more information about the campaign and to see the animated video, please visit: www.payplan.com/happynewyear

Experian Free Credit Score – MPU

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