More than two million UK hospitality workers have reported that their mental health is declining due to money worries, a new report has found.
The latest index, State of Financial Wellbeing: Hospitality Outlook 2023 from financial inclusion experts and campaigners, revealed a gap in understanding money-related stress between employers and staff in the hospitality sector.
Carried out by Wagestream with input from industry professionals and bodies, including the Money and Pensions Service, StepChange and the Work Foundation, the study showed that mental health is worsening due to money worries for 87% of hospitality workers.
As a result, one in five (21%) are struggling to focus at work, while three in 10 (30%) worry about their finances every day. However, only 1% of employers are aware of it.
The report, which surveyed 10,000 workers and 1,000 employers across the UK, also highlighted a significant decline in trust among employees. Around 30% believe their employer cares about their financial health and 35% think they do not, compared to the previous year’s 52% and 22% respectively.
However, hospitality employers may well be taking steps to reduce the gap. Last year, more than three-quarters (76%) introduced one or more new financial benefits, with educational workshops being the most common. This was followed by health cash plans and flexible pay.
Emily Trant, head of impact and inclusion at Wagestream (pictured), said: “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 broader people, strategy around. By doing so they will see a huge swing in recruitment, retention and shift uptake – which are key foundations in the current environment.”
The report further revealed that more than two-thirds (67%) of individuals claimed to have reduced their spending, while nearly a third (30%) have used savings to get by. In addition, the cost-of-living crisis has caused 42% to miss a bill, making those in hospitality 56% more likely to do so than other workers.