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Peter Fenton highlighted some of the key financial stressors for employees ranging from inflation and cost of living to financial illiteracy and income stagnation. Peter mentioned that financial literacy is key to employees being able to manage their money and that ignoring money issues is one of the worst things you can do. Initiatives such as a budget planner and financial guidance can mitigate these issues.

Discounts included within health insurance programmes can be easy to offer your employees and the small discounts will make a difference. Paid sick leave can improve employee wellbeing by making them feel like they are able to take time off when they are unwell. Job security, paying a living wage and organisational stability can all minimise financial stress. Peter reiterated the importance of supporting different employees on an individual basis, a one-size-fits-all approach does not work.

Some key takeaways from the session were:
• Both employers and employees can contribute above the minimum pension contributions if they can to prepare for later life.
• Everyone can be impacted by financial stress.
• Communication and signposting is critical.
• Follow up and being available for confidential discussions can help.
• Be flexible - one solution does not suit every problem.
• If you offer support, you must provide it. Don't talk the talk but not walk the walk.
• Trust and confidentiality are critical to employees feeling that they can be open with their employers about financial stress.
• Supporting your employees with their financial stress might feel personal, however it adds considerable value to employees.