One in three Scottish workers are losing sleep over financial worries

32% have lost sleep due to money worries, with many struggling to pay the bills each month.
32% have lost sleep due to money worries, with many struggling to pay the bills each month.

New research into the financial health of workers in Scotland has revealed one in three people (32%) have lost sleep due to money worries, with many struggling to pay the bills each month.

Almost a quarter (23%) of Scottish employees say they struggle with their day-to-day living costs each month, and 28% of employees worry about how they’ll get through the month on the money they earn.

A third (34%) say that pressure at work affects their home life, and 40% say that if they received an unexpected bill of £1,000 they would not have the money to pay it.

One in five Scots (19%) say paying off or paying down debt is their financial priority for the coming 12 months, while 19% chose saving for retirement as a financial priority for the next three years.

The report finds huge demand for financial education – two in three people in Scotland (64%) feel their employer should provide financial education to help with retirement planning, but 39% feel they have to turn to internet searches when they need to find out information on financial products, with just 4% turning to their employer. This suggests there is real scope for employers to provide support and guidance to employees in financial education and planning.

Drawing on interviews with 199 Scottish people in employment, the figures are released in the annual Employee Insight Report Scotland, which assesses the financial wellbeing of the nation, and looks at employees’ attitudes towards pensions, retirement, auto-enrolment, benefits, savings and health in the workplace.

The wide-ranging report also finds:

· A pay rise is the most valued employee reward, selected by half (50%) of Scottish employees. Other popular options include providing a seasonal bonus (25%) and simply being thanked at work (24%).

· 52% of Scottish employees find pensions-related terminology to be complicated and confusing and 43% say they don’t understand a lot of the pensions jargon, which puts them off saving into one.

· 38% of Scottish employees say they would value private medical insurance (PMI) as a benefit their employer could offer, making it the most commonly cited benefit. Also ranked highly were private dental insurance (35%), life insurance (34%) and critical illness cover (33%).

Robin Hames, head of marketing and research at Capita Employee Benefits, said: “Our research has shown that many workers in Scotland still struggle with the cost of living, and have little in reserve to cope with the unexpected.”

“With so many people living just within their means, it is little wonder that stress is felt by so many workers – almost a third of employees say day-to-day living would become financially difficult within a month if they were to lose their job, which puts people under a significant amount of pressure in the workplace.”

“The Employee Insight Report Scotland shows there are clear incentives for employees to ensure they do all they can to promote financial health among their workers. With the vast majority of people saying they would like more access to financial education from their employer, it is clear there is more to be done.”