Workers experiencing high levels of financial stress: Survey

Eighty-two per cent interested in employer education
||Last Updated: 11/09/2017
Wellness, stress, finance
Half of employees feel financial stress is impacting their work performance. Shutterstock

Working Canadians are experiencing a high level of financial stress, ultimately impacting their work performance, according to a survey by the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA).

Half of employees feel financial stress is impacting their work performance. Fifty-two per cent said they budget frequently while 31 per cent of this group keep their budget in their head. Of those who do budget, 52 per cent said they usually or always stick to their budget.

"Many working Canadians are struggling to make ends meet financially and they need help," said Janice MacLellan, vice-president of operations at the CPA. "While many Canadians are well-intentioned, our survey results show that they are not making enough progress towards financial health, and ultimately, this is impacting their work and their lives."

How employers can help

More than one-third (38 per cent) of Canadians rely on financial advisors and banks for financial and retirement planning advice. A further 27 per cent lean on friends and family and the internet for this important information.

However, workers also have a strong appetite for employer-provided financial education programs, with 82 per cent indicating they would be interested if employers offered information at work, according to the survey of 4,766 workers.

But, workers have timing expectations — 54 per cent would prefer that employers offered lunch and learns while eight per cent would be interested if information was offered after work hours.

"Financial stress affects both mental and physical health, which can impact workplace productivity. Increased financial literacy can help reduce financial stress," said Jane Rooney, financial literacy leader at the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. "Employers are in a unique position to reach people where they are and help them develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to make informed decisions. The results benefit everyone."

The CPA continues to champion the message "Pay Yourself First" to prepare for a healthy financial future. Sixty-one per cent of Canadian employers offer this option through payroll that enables employees to set up automatic payroll deductions to direct a portion of their net pay into a separate retirement or savings account. Of those employers that do not offer this option, one-third are considering making it available.

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