As a responsible and caring employer, you may be concerned about how rising prices and the cost-of-living crisis is impacting your employees – and wondering what you can do to help.
Finding the right employee benefits package is always important, making your company the one people want to work for, but at a time when financial worries are affecting so many people, the benefits of Commsave Credit Union’s payroll savings facility can make a real, practical difference.
For over 30 years, Commsave has been working with organisations nationally, including Royal Mail and the Department for Work & Pensions, as well as locally with the likes of North and West Northamptonshire Councils, Kettering General Hospital and Northampton Partnership Homes, to help employees achieve financial wellbeing.
Today, the credit union offers safe savings and affordable loans to more than 35,000 members all over the UK. A simple payroll deduction scheme enables employees to save direct from their pay, making saving the first thing they do each month, rather than an afterthought at the end.
Just a small amount, upwards of a minimum of £10 per month, soon builds up and members will quickly find that they have a ‘nest egg’ to fall back on should they need it. The fundamental ideas behind the service are that it helps non-savers build a regular savings habit; it increases the amount that more regular savers put away; and it enables employees to cope better with any financial shocks life might throw at them.
The rewards are competitive when measured against what is available on the high street for instant access savings facilities. The not-for-profit business pays an annual dividend. For the 2021/22 financial year this was 1.75%, well above the average Bank of England base rate for the period in question.
In addition to payroll savings, Commsave Credit Union offers an affordable credit facility which provides access to loans at reasonable rates of interest, offering an easily arranged, and more manageable alternative to pay day lenders. There is a range of ways to borrow, including Orbital Loans, which work on the same basis as an overdraft, with an agreed limit and no interest or charges if it isn’t used. The APR on such a loan is 19.6% compared with closer to 40% imposed by banks and other lenders for their overdraft facilities
James Richards, Business Development Manager at Commsave Credit Union, said: “Against the backdrop of double-digit inflation and soaring energy bills, employers are increasingly wondering what more they can do to prioritise financial wellbeing for their teams.
“Financial stress and workplace performance are, of course, linked, with money worries causing increased absenteeism and loss in productivity. Statistics show that 77% of employees say they have spent time at work worrying about their finances, while the estimated cost of sickness absence for UK businesses is £554 per employee.
“The good news is that there are things that you can do to help your employees feel less stressed. Offering a comprehensive staff benefits package has never been more important. As the saying goes, ‘Look after your staff, and they’ll look after your customers.’
“Enabling employees to save direct from pay not only complements your existing benefits package, but it also makes good business sense. Employees that are financially resilient spend less time at work worrying about their money, reducing absenteeism and presenteeism, and boosting productivity.
“So not only can you make your company the one that people want to work for, but you’ll also be helping your team to make the best possible contribution to your bottom line, at the same time as improving their financial wellbeing.”
Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, the credit union is open to anyone who lives or works in the NN post code area, or who works for one of the companies partnered with Commsave Credit Union.
As a financial co-operative, members of the credit union are its owners, and there is a clear focus on what members really need. Regular talks and roadshows give people the opportunity to find out more, while a team of volunteer workplace reps, those who already use the credit union, pass on their experience to friends and colleagues, and help to raise awareness.
There’s also a website – CURight.co.uk – which is available to anyone within one of the supporting organisations, regardless of whether they are individual members or not, which offers helpful savings and debt advice. Around 60 articles, ranging from coping with energy bills, financial planning for a new baby, to the true cost of credit and managing debt, can be accessed through the website.