The impact of financial stress and how you (and the new budget) can help

Wednesday October 14, 2020

Money and finance are hot topics right now with the announcement of the latest Federal Budget. The new budget is geared towards helping Australia climb out of its biggest economic slump since the Great Depression – acknowledging the impact of COVID-19 on organisations and individuals alike.

Financial well-being impacts your bottom line

Did you know the financial well-being of your employees has a direct impact on their productivity and the amount of leave they take?

The 2019 AMP Financial Report has some interesting revelations around financial wellness in the workplace. The revelations include:

  • In Australia, $31.1 billion dollars in revenue is lost annually through lack of financial well-being
  • Financially stressed employees take 2.4 more days of sick leave a year and spend around 3.2 days a year dealing with their finances while at work
  • Only 46% of Australian employees feel financially secure; the other 54% feel a varying degree of financial stress ranging from severe to moderate or mild
  • Workplace conditions impact the level of employee financial wellness with contract workers, job sharers and hot-deskers feeling more financial stress than their counterparts

These pre-COVID statistics tell a bleak tale and, with the current job uncertainty, these alarming figures have probably increased.

Your role as an employer

Ensuring your employees have financial well-being is important for both your business and your people. Teams with higher levels of financial wellness are more productive, generate more income for your business and contribute to a positive workplace environment.

To support the financial wellness of your staff, you need to be aware of the support and resources that are available to them. Skills such as learning to budget can be useful in many job roles, as well as to personal finances. While employees who are less stressed about their finances can be more focussed and reliable at work.

It’s also worth noting that financially stressed employees will not have the head-space to come up with creative ideas and out-of-the-box suggestions on how to increase revenue or reduce overheads during these trying times. Instead, they will be too concerned about keeping their job. Yet the best thing for your business as a whole right now, is to encourage an environment where people feel sufficiently confident to make bold suggestions.

Relief in the latest Federal Budget

The recently released budget includes support for employers and employees alike, including:

  • Changes to personal income tax brackets with increased tax-offsets for low to middle-income earners into 2021 and tax cuts across the board
  • Youth hire payments and expanded training subsidies for apprentices and trainees
  • The extension of JobKeeper until 2021
  • Additional support for small businesses who will be:
    • able to deduct the full cost of assets purchased after the budget announcement and used or installed before 1 July 2021
    • able to apply “full expensing” of assets (based on their turn-over)
    • able to offset losses against previous profits on which tax was paid
    • exempt from the 47% fringe benefits tax for employer-provided retraining for redeployed employees
  • Changes to Superannuation to allow employees to stay with their current fund when they change employment

The HR Dept is here to help you keep abreast of the changes from the Federal Budget, apply them to your business and help you create a financial wellness program that can help your employees gain the comfort levels they need to contribute successfully to your business. For guidance, get in touch with us today.


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