Research: Hospitality firms falling behind on staff wellbeing

28. 03. 2023 | Press Releases

LONDON, March 21, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — More than two million UK hospitality workers are reporting declining mental health because of money worries, according to a new report from financial inclusion experts and campaigners.

Compiled by Wagestream, the latest State of Financial Wellbeing index is one of the UK’s largest studies on workers’ financial wellbeing. It found hospitality workers are among the UK’s most financially stressed, but their employers are lagging behind other industries in providing support.

With input from leading bodies like Money and Pensions Service, StepChange and the Work Foundation, the State of Financial Wellbeing research programme benchmarks the views and actions of 10,000 workers and 1,000 employers across the UK.

The latest index, State of Financial Wellbeing: Hospitality Outlook 2023, highlights a financial stress understanding gap between hospitality workers and their employers:

  • 87% of hospitality workers’ mental health is worsening, due to money worries
  • 67% have cut back on their spending, and 30% used savings to make ends meet
  • 42% have missed a bill due to the cost-of-living crisis – 56% more likely than the rest of the workforce
  • 21% are struggling to focus at work, as a result – 31% higher than other sectors
  • 30% worry about money every day – but just 1% of employers realise it
  • 14% have £0 in savings – but 1% of employers realise it

There are signs hospitality operators are taking steps to close the gap. Three quarters (76%) had introduced at least one new financial benefit last year, with the most common being educational workshops, health cash plans, and flexible pay. Overall, 57% of hospitality employers focused more on the issue in response to the cost-of-living crisis – a 20% decrease on other industries.

The findings see experts now calling on employers and government to act to reverse the trend – from support packages in the short-term, to improving workers’ rights and support in the long-term. In particular, the report recommends hospitality employers improve the security of work provided.

With record levels of vacancies in hospitality, the report recommends actions for employers to overtake other industries on wellbeing support and win the talent war. It emphasises a shift in thinking around pay – with hospitality workers 13% less likely to have asked for a pay rise, but 10% more likely to say increased hours would help. It recommends employers build their pay strategy around the ‘new dynamics of pay’:

  • Pay Security – working and earning enough, to fulfil financial obligations short-term
  • Pay Autonomy – choice over hours and pay frequency, to live with dignity
  • Pay Potential – the total amount of compensation, beyond base salary
  • Pay Growth – opportunities to move up a pay grade, and increase Pay Potential

Emily Trant, Head of Impact and Inclusion at Wagestream, comments: “Our latest index highlights the two things hospitality workers want most: more predictable income, and the ability to choose their own pay cycle. Every hospitality operator is caught in a war for talent – and if they are serious about winning, these are the new dynamics of pay they should be building their financial wellbeing and people strategies around. By doing so they will see a huge swing in recruitment, retention and shift uptake – which are vital in the current environment.”

About the research
The State of Financial Wellbeing: Hospitality Outlook 2023 was compiled by financial wellbeing experts at Wagestream. It is part of the ongoing State of Financial Wellbeing research programme, which blends primary data, independent survey data, and advisory contributions from experts including The Work Foundation at Lancaster University and the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS).

The most recent report includes independent data provided by Censuswide, and spans four datasets:

  • Shift data of 300,000 hospitality workers, across 149 employers, in 2022
  • Surveys of 2,500 UK workers and 300 senior HR professionals, in Summer 2022
  • Surveys of 5,000 UK workers and 600 senior HR professionals, in Winter 2021
  • Survey of 2,000 UK adults, in Summer 2021

About Wagestream
Wagestream makes work more rewarding for 2 million frontline workers, with a complete financial wellbeing platform built around their pay.

Offered through employers like Bupa, Co-op, Pizza Hut, Next, and the NHS, people can use Wagestream to manage their budgeting, choose their own pay cycle, build up savings, chat to a money coach, save money on bills and more – all in one app.

Offering Wagestream means an employer outperforms benchmarks on inclusion, improves quality of life for their colleagues, and solves their people problems – with 27% faster recruitment, 16% lower turnover and 26% better productivity. Wagestream is a B Corporation, was founded with social impact experts and operates on a social charter: every service it provides must measurably improve financial wellbeing.

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