Creating a better new normal: on-demand pay now an employee benefit

By Josh Vernon

The new normal. It’s got to be one of the most used phrases of 2020. But what if out of this new normal there are some positives? More time with family. Less time commuting. There could be others too — like employers taking an increased interest in the financial wellbeing of their workers.

Well, we’re one step of the way there. Vivup, the largest employee benefit platform provider to the NHS, has partnered with Earnd to add our on-demand pay solution to their benefits offering for NHS and public sector employers.

I’m excited about it. And Vivup are too.

“We’re really pleased to have formed a partnership with Earnd,” Simon Moyle, Commercial and Strategy Director at Vivup, told me. “Adding Earnd to our range of benefits allows an organisation to provide the best benefits all in one place and for their staff to see their money go further.”

Why financial wellbeing and why now?

The last few decades have seen employers begin to consider how they can provide programs to help improve the physical and mental wellbeing of their staff. But what about helping with personal finances? After all, it’s one of the biggest issues for workers — especially NHS staff who work non-standard hours.

1 in 3 people in the UK run out of money before pay day, meaning they fall short of meeting essential expenses and can be forced to borrow more. This can lead to large credit card and overdraft debts, missed payments and even impacted credit scores.

Our research shows that NHS staff use overtime, bank and locum shifts to pay down debt, save for a specific financial goal, invest and treat themselves. Having to wait up to 60 days to get paid causes unnecessary and often detrimental financial strain — regardless of how much you earn.

Given the scope of the problem, it’s no surprise that recent research from EY found 8 in 10 employees say they would use on-demand pay. On-demand pay can help people match their spending to their expenses, reducing the chance of a faulty boiler or car breakdown completely derailing a monthly budget.

There are big benefits for employers too. EY’s report found that financial stress costs UK employers £30bn a year through increased absenteeism and staff turnover, as well as higher levels of distraction.

The best things in life are free

One of the key reasons we’ve partnered with Vivup is our shared philosophy — that access to important benefits shouldn’t cost people money. Vivup’s platform is offered at no cost to employers or employees. Earnd is free to all employees and public sector companies like the NHS. Working together, the goal is to make it easy for those who are time-poor to access benefits they need.

It sounds ambitious, but at Earnd our mission is to change the world with on-demand pay. We want to increase the choice and control people have over their money so that financial security is more achievable.

What next?

This year has been tough on many fronts, but amongst the pain I’m glad we can continue to create some positive change. I’m thankful to hear how Earnd is making a difficult time for NHS staff a bit easier. This is what a nurse told us recently:

“Obviously because of Covid, I was starting to get nervous thinking towards the end of the month I’d have to start using the credit card with 30% interest. Whereas, if you can access a little bit (of your pay) it means you can make ends meet.”

It’s comments like this that make me hopeful for a better new normal. It might feel like monthly pay has been around forever, but it’s actually a fairly recent invention. When it leads to financial shortfalls and sometimes high interest borrowing, there’s no reason for it to be regarded as normal at all. It’s possible to revolutionise the way we’re paid and I’m glad our partnership with Vivup is another step forward towards this.

We give employees access to their pay as they earn it, so they are in control of their finances every single day.