Anxious and stressed-out employees are increasingly looking to their EAPs to help them cope with their financial situations. According to a report from Shepell·fgi, the number of calls related to financial counseling and consultation are rising at twice the rate of other EAP services.
In the second half of 2008, there was a 13% higher rate of access for financial issues than in the second half of 2007. According to the report, Financial Distress Impacts Health and Productivity, the top five financial
issues for employees in 2008 were:
2. financial planning
4. financial stress
The data showed that in 2008, there was a:
- 30.3% increase in cases related to collections issues
- 20.3% increase in creditor problems
- 24.4% increase in bankruptcy issues
- 41% increase for financial counseling related to divorce
- Almost twice as many women as men are accessing EAPs for financial issues (65% vs. 35%)
- Employees living in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, and Quebec are accessing EAPs for financial issues at a higher rate than the rest of Canada.
A survey from employee assistance program provider ComPsych found that 92% of employees said that financial worries are keeping them up at night, with top concerns being:
- Cost of living, 30%
- Credit card debt, 29%
- Mortgage payments,14%
- Retirement accounts,13%
- Kids’ tuition, 3%
- Health care costs, 3%
In a survey from Sun Life Financial, Canadian workers are feeling more confident than their American neighbours about the economy, personal finances, health, employer and government benefits. Canadian and American workers were asked about the key drivers impacting their retirement and in every category, Canadians had a more positive outlook.
- Almost one-third of Canadians are not at all satisfied with how much they are saving for retirement
- One in 11 say they’ve dipped into their retirement savings in recent months due to the economy 37% of Canadians feel very confident they would be able to handle medical expenses at the age they retire, compared to 23% of Americans.
- Less than half of Canadians polled have checked to see what health or dental benefits are available to them once they retire
Healthways and Gallup Research found that Americans’ moods were ultra-sensitive to economic news. Well-being plunged on days when the Dow lost big and with reports of high jobless claims. The survey shows that those 30 to 55 years old, prime earning years, may be suffering most from the bad economic news.
These economic challenges are having an impact on our employees and may be costing us in lost productivity and increased absenteeism and disability claims. Employers can lessen this impact by promoting financial strategy and information programs and access to existing EAP and community services.
To view a video on the stages of change – click on Beverly’s TV interview at
Is financial stress one of your concerns?
Do you need more information on how to deal with your finances?
Does your company provide financial planning information?
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!