Financial stress costing Australian businesses

demographics-with-highest-incidence-of-financial-stress-2016According to new research from AMP, one in four surveyed Australian workers has low confidence in their financial position and struggles to make ends meet.

The research, undertaken for AMP’s ‘2016 Financial Wellness’ report, found that only 48 per cent of respondents were confident in their financial position, a decrease from 54 per cent in 2014. This comes despite a 6.3 per cent increase in disposable cash held by respondents.

The research also found that employees surveyed who were categorised as ‘financially stressed’ lost on average 6.9 hours of productive work a week and were absent about 1.3 hours a week due to stress-related sickness.

Other key findings from the research included:

  • Financial stress was highest in the accommodation and food services industry, with 35 per cent of employee respondents saying they were financially stressed. This was followed by healthcare and social services (32 per cent) and administration and support services (31 per cent). Twenty-six per cent of surveyed employees in retail jobs said they were financially stressed.
  • Main triggers for financial stress were bad debt, mortgages and bills.
  • Thirty per cent of females interviewed said they experienced financial stress, compared with 19 per cent of males.
  • Comparing the cities of respondents, Brisbane was found to have the highest proportion of financially stressed workers (30 per cent of those interviewed), followed by Adelaide (25 per cent), Perth (23 per cent), Sydney (20 per cent) and Melbourne (19 per cent).

“Financial stress is a common occurrence in the Australian workforce, with more than 2.8 million employees, representing one in four workers, under financial stress in 2016,” AMP Director Corporate Superannuation Vicki Doyle said.

“People who experience financial stress are more likely to be unable to work due to stress-related sickness, which can affect their health and morale in addition to lowering workplace productivity – at an estimated cost of $47 billion in lost annual revenue for employers.

“It’s important we find ways to address levels of financial stress in the workplace. We know the real difference financial goals can make in preventing and overcoming financial stress: Australians who have clearly defined goals are much more likely to be financially secure.”

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