More employees in need of paycheck advances, survey reveals

More employees in need of paycheck advances, survey reveals
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Belgian employees are said to be struggling financially after the consecutive crises that have beset the country, with a recent study from VUB and Acerta showing that 28% of companies are now regularly paying their staff in advance.

400 businesses were interviewed for the survey, to portray how workers' finances have contended with the pandemic, the energy crisis and resulting inflation.  

With almost a third of companies admitting to paying their workers in advance, the survey's findings painted a bleak picture of employees' financial well-being. A third of the companies have also encouraged employees to avoid working from home to reduce their energy bills, while over 14% of employers have allowed staff to work elsewhere as a way of making additional income.

"These results hardly surprise me," spokesperson for HR service Acerta, Anne-Sophie Bialas, told La Dernière Heure. She explained that "with my job [as an employee well-being expert] I am often confronted with workers in financial difficulties."

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Bert Schreurs, a VUB professor, stated that "financially insecure people are less focused and make more mistakes," with Bialas having also noted the impact on "their commitment and performance at work." Yet, 38% of the companies surveyed are yet to provide their financially hamstrung employees with additional assistance.

Due to these potential issues, Acerta has proposed that companies set up a point of contact to offer financial assistance to their employees, particularly with regards to managing their salaries, Bialas concluded.

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