Evaluation Scotland Wales

Money worries are the biggest cause of stress for employees in the UK


  • 1 in 4 workers have lost sleep over money worries
  • 59% of employees say current financial worries prevent them performing their best
  • 18 million working hours are lost to financial stress in the UK every year

Money worries are the biggest cause of stress for employees in the UK. Anxiety about finances affects mental physical and social wellbeing. This in turn impacts attendance and performance at work.

However, while 90% of employers agree financial worries harm workplace performance and are willing to do more to help their employees, they need guidance on what they can do.

Facts and challenges

  • 11% of your workforce are finding it hard to make ends meet
  • 5% of employees have been absent from work because of financial worries
  • 4% is added to payroll costs because of absenteeism caused by financial distress
  • 8% of employees have spent time during the work day dealing with money worries
  • 89% of employers agree financial concerns have an impact on staff performance
  • 46% of employees say financial pressure affects relationship with their manager
  • one in five employees think their financial situation affects their work.

What are the benefits of financial capability for employers?

Low financial capability is a problem across all industries and UK adults believe their financial situation will get worse in the future, due to low wage growth and rising living costs, according to the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development.

Money worries have a clear impact of how people feel and behave, both in their day-to-day lives and at work. So, when your workforce suffers, your business can also suffer.

In fact, discretionary effort at work is five times lower for those with low financial wellbeing and for those unhappy with employer’s efforts to help them manage finances.

There is also a problem with staff retention, with more than a third of employees would move to a rival company putting financial wellbeing as a priority.

This is one area where every employers, both large and small, could have a positive impact on reducing stress and improving productivity.

Explore The Strategy for the working age population

How this site can help

  • Increase your knowledge about your employees’ needs through our insight research

  • Provide data to support the business case for introducing financial capability programmes into your organisation from our research
  • Use free digital and printed resources from The Money Advice Service to help build your employees ability to manage their money and financial wellbeing
  • Show you how to evaluate your financial wellbeing work using guidance and templates in our Evaluation Toolkit
  • Learn more about what has worked for other organisations from our What Works funded projects
  • Use the evidence from our Evidence Hubopens in new window to inform your own financial capability projects.

Selected research from the following sources – Social Market Foundation, 2016; Willis Towers Watson, 2016; Financial Well-being in the Workplace: A Way Forward, Financial Advice Working Group for HM Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority, final report, March 2017; Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development, 2017; Financial Conduct Authority, 2017; Barclays, 2014; Neyber, 2016.