About the report

Our latest report brings together our annual survey of UK reward professionals and a new survey of employees on financial wellbeing, pay and benefits. By consolidating these findings, we can understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and cost-of-living crisis from the perspective of employers and employees.

The report shows that, although some employers are making a much-valued difference to the financial wellbeing of their workforces, others are falling short of employees’ expectations. One in four employees say money worries impact their ability to do their job; with the cost of living soaring in the UK, it's likely that more and more people will experience poor financial wellbeing and face impossible decisions about money. In the worst cases, they may not be able to heat their homes, pay rent, or buy essentials. Employers and practitioners, alongside policymakers, will need to take urgent action to ensure they support workers’ financial wellbeing and that in-work poverty does not become more widely entrenched.

The report captures:

  • the types of benefits employers provide, and who’s receiving them
  • the changes – if any – employers are planning for 2022
  • how the benefits landscape has evolved since we last explored this topic in 2018
  • the impact of the pandemic – and skills and labour shortages – on the benefits package
  • employer attitudes and responses to financial wellbeing and in-work poverty
  • the state of employees’ financial wellbeing through their own eyes
  • the support employees are receiving from their organisations
  • employees’ thoughts on their benefits package.

Research findings

We’ve grouped the report into five relevant sections. Click on the appropriate theme to download that particular section of the report, or download the report in full: 

What difference does a financial wellbeing policy make?

Our survey shows that employees whose workplaces have a financial wellbeing policy are more likely to agree that their job protects them from poverty and that they feel in control of their finances. They also tend to be satisfied with their employee benefits package, know what they need to do to get a pay rise, and feel comfortable asking their employer for help with financial problems.

However, only 20% of employees say their employer actually has a financial wellbeing policy, and the same proportion believe their employer isn’t doing enough to support them in this area (this rises to one in four among low-paid workers). Those in most need of support are least likely to be covered by a policy, with 86% saying their employer's never asked them about their financial wellbeing.

Employers who feel their employees won’t welcome their support may be surprised to find that 65% of employees say it’s important their future employer has a financial wellbeing policy in place. This rises to 81% of those whose employer already has a policy - showing that people are reluctant to give up this benefit once they've received it. This should be food for thought in today’s tight labour market.

Picture of Charles Cotton

Unfortunately, the cost-of-living crisis is likely to push more and more employees into in-work poverty. This, along with the competition for talent right now, should motivate all organisations to adopt a financial wellbeing policy or improve their existing one.

Charles Cotton

Senior Policy Adviser – Performance and Reward, CIPD

This report was researched and written by Charles Cotton, Senior Policy Adviser for Reward, CIPD; Liz Marriott, Data Analysis Consultant; and Stephen J. Perkins, Global Policy Institute, London and Professor Emeritus at London Metropolitan University.

We particularly acknowledge assistance from all those who took time out from their busy schedules to participate in our workshops, including participants: Michael Cope, Austen Cooper, Colin Miller, Anna Shaw and Steve White.

Thanks also go to all the reward and people professionals who invested their time helping to inform the questionnaire, its completion, and this survey report.

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