Recent figures revealed by a national free debt advice provider paint a bleak picture for many UK professionals. The findings discovered that many groups of full time workers reported higher average levels of debt than those who are unemployed.
PayPlan, which has compiled a list of the top 10 occupations with the highest debt levels, found that nurses, for example, are now living with debts of around £19,278 per person*, outweighing the average levels reported by those who are unemployed by a striking 29 per cent.
The top 10 is as follows:
- Retirees – £19,897
- Managers (including retail, warehouse, bank managers etc.) – £19,421
- Nurses – £19,278
- Administrative Assistants – £15,663
- Warehouse Workers – £15,138
- Unemployed – £14,984
- Sales Assistants – £13,811
- Care Assistants – £13,190
- Support Workers – £13,149
- Cleaners – £12,515
With a rise in the cost of living continuing to outweigh increases in salary across a number of industries, the list highlights the growing need of businesses to ensure provisions are in place to monitor employee wellbeing in relation to personal finances. There is still a stigma between individuals, particularly in a working environment, when it comes to discussing money troubles. A crucial asset to any small business is having a person on hand to provide advice, or just act as someone to talk to in confidence about his or her situation.
Fortunately, more is being done by the debt advice sector to encourage individuals to come forward when they are struggling with debt, with alternatives to the traditional telephone helpline now available.
Rachel Duffey, CEO of PayPlan, explains:
“We’ve seen a clear shift in the way that individuals want to access advice. In a digital age where most people are now using smartphones we want to offer better ways for them to seek free debt advice, when they want it.
“We’re continually adapting the ways we communicate to suit what our clients are asking us for, and in doing so we have found that by using text messages, emails, apps and online forms, we’re helping to remove some of the emotional and physical barriers to seeking help.”
Since launching its new online platforms in May, PayPlan has witnessed a 20 per cent rise in individuals accessing the company’s free advice.
“Employers have a duty of care to look after staff, including their wellbeing inside and away from the office. Having the processes in place to ensure individuals are physically and mentally healthy is essential, and from a commercial perspective will reduce absenteeism and increase productivity in the long run,” Rachel adds.
For more details on PayPlan, or to access free advice online, visit www.payplan.com or if you would prefer to speak to someone, free phone 0800 280 2816.
*Based on all referral clients with a Debt Management Plan between Jan 2016 and present.