Nearly half of UK workers suffer 'money-related stress' before payday

Abigail Fenton
·Writer
·2 min read
Nearly half of all UK workers feel stressed about money every month. (Francisco Moreno/Unsplash)
One in five have had to resort to payday loans at some point during the last year, while two in five (43%) have been forced to use their overdraft to cover costs in the final week before their next payment. Photo "Francisco Moreno/Unsplash

Nearly half (46%) of all UK workers suffer from money-related stress and anxiety in the week before their next payday, research suggests.

Londoners are the most affected, with three in five (57%) workers in the capital feeling undue pressure during this time, according to research by wage-on-demand app fastPAYE.

These results are somewhat unsurprising, as, two in five (78%) UK workers are living payday to payday as of February 2020 – unable cover unexpected costs when they arise.

As a result of these financial struggles — many of which have been exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — many workers admitted to turning to “alternative” means of finance as an unfortunate necessity.

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One in five have had to resort to payday loans at some point during the last year, while two in five (43%) have been forced to use their overdraft to cover costs in the final week before their next payment.

Worryingly, the most common “alternative” method of financing credit cards, with 55% being forced to rely on one to get by until the end of the month — potentially wracking up long-term interest in order to survive in the short-term.

Over a third (36%) said they are likely to use any money or credit they acquire in order to tide them over in the week before payday to pay for groceries.

Bills (27%), Leisure activities (19%) and house repairs (15%) were also common reasons for additional borrowing, the survey found.

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One in five of workers said they would consider a new job in the same role if it gave them access to their already-earned wages before payday.

“[The findings] are deeply concerning in terms of the implications for people’s mental well-being in the run up to payday — however, they also expose a salary payment structure that is no longer fit for purpose,” said Lee Bowden, fastPAYE’s chief commercial officer.

“As working practices evolve and the way we process and manage money transforms, the way we pay the workforce has barely changed at all.

“With a fifth of those surveyed claiming they would consider moving to another company in the same role if that company gave them access to already earned wages ahead of payday, it’s a sign of the changing times and worker expectations in the modern workplace.”

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