NHS staff facing up to the cost-of-living crisis are being helped by a financial wellbeing platform which allows them to choose when they get paid.
It comes as new figures suggest up to 200,000 NHS staff, from nurses to cleaners, are working increased hours to try and cope with the impact of cost-of-living increases.
In the past, NHS staff working extra shifts would not be able to access their extra pay until the end of the month, leaving many struggling to cope, especially in the months after the festive period when people’s budgets are usually stretched.
It is feared this may have led some to resort to illegal money lenders or pay day loans to pay an unexpected bill or take the pressure off, something which an estimated 1.1million people in the UK say they have done in the past 12 months.
However, an increasing number of NHS Trusts have chosen to support staff taking on additional shifts by implementing RLDatix Allocate InstantPay – a financial wellbeing platform which gives NHS staff the power to shape their pay cycle around their lives.
This can not only help staff with their day-to-day money management, it can also help to cover any unexpected costs, bringing stress and mental health benefits, which makes staff less likely to call in sick.
NHS Trusts have also found that providing Allocate InstantPay means staff are more willing to do additional hours via their bank, rather than through an agency, because they know they will be able to access their pay flexibly, meaning that some NHS Trusts have seen a reduction in agency spend, as well as covering ‘harder to fill shifts’.
Arti Fiaz, Sales Director, from Allocate InstantPay, said: “We know many NHS staff are working extra hours to make ends meet but having to wait until the end of the month to get pay they have already earnt means some NHS staff are still turning to illegal money lenders or high-interest short term loans.
“Neither of these solutions supports NHS staff in the longer term and can cause more financial harm than good. Our data has shown that 60% of NHS staff who use Allocate InstantPay have used it to pay an unexpected bill and 42% have avoided using a pay day loan as a result of using Allocate InstantPay.
“The cost of living crisis also sits against a backdrop of NHS staff striking to press for better pay and conditions. While NHS Trusts can set pay rates for bank, they can also put in further mechanisms to improve conditions and support staff, like Allocate Instant pay.
“Our data shows that some Trusts have found that their agency spend has reduced as more staff opt to complete additional shifts via their bank rather than more costly agencies because they know they will have access to the money instantly. This is a win for the NHS and a win for NHS staff.”
Recent figures from the Office of National Statistics have found that one in six UK adults are working more hours due to cost-of-living increases. When those figures are applied to NHS staff it suggests 200,000 staff from nurses to cleaners are working more hours to meet new financial demands.
Allocate InstantPay is powered by Wagestream, a financial wellbeing platform used by over 2 million frontline workers. It helps people to manage their budgeting, choose their own pay cycle, build up a rainy-day fund, chat to a money coach, save money on bills and more - all in one app.
One third of NHS Trusts currently use Allocate Instantpay to support the financial wellbeing of their staff.
You can find out more about Allocate InstantPay here: Allocate InstantPay - RLDatix - UK (allocatesoftware.co.uk)
What NHS staff said about Allocate InstantPay
Saf Angelo, HR Programme Manager, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It’s really important that our staff feel empowered when they come to work and that they are happy. It’s a really, really good system and gives me access to information that I need very quickly. Staff feel more comfortable and more willing to take on bank shifts.”
Rob Shuttleworth, Workforce Information Systems Manager, Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I’ve been in that situation where I’ve wanted that money on a more regular basis. The turnaround for getting this implemented was really quick and since there has definitely been a reduction in agency spend. I’ve seen turnover reduce and therefore our retention rates are stronger. It wont be long before more and more organisations are looking to get a piece of this pie – because it’s groundbreaking and easy to do.”
Erwin, a staff nurse at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Pay day loans have this ridiculous interest rates, it’s like a vicious cycle. The big difference I’ve seen with people using this, is they are simply less stressed.”