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Financial stress front of mind for working Millennials

‘Stress and anxiety related to finances and debt’ is the health and wellbeing issue that employers think most affects their Millennial employees.

That’s according to the findings from GRiD’s latest research amongst 500 HR decision makers.

In fact, the top three health and wellbeing issues that employers believe most affect their millennial workforce, are:

·       Stress and anxiety related to finances & debt (51%)

·       Stress and anxiety related to home life – including managing difficult relationships, caring responsibilities etc (39%)

·       Stress and anxiety related to work – such as pressures of overwork and uncertainty of the future (38%)

GRiD, the industry body for the group risk protection sector, says Millennials entered the workforce at the height of the economic downturn and, therefore, are only too aware of the repercussions for the job market, owing to the difficulties they faced trying to find work. It asserts that they’re laden with the highest student debt levels ever, while also being the generation who’ve had to live at home with their parents due to property price rises. 

And, while once lambasted for being ‘too lazy’ and ‘too entitled’ in the workplace, with their increase in years comes more responsibility. GRiD says Millennials are no longer the newbies in the workplace and in fact, many are now middle managers with children, mortgages and bills to pay.

Katharine Moxham, Spokesperson for GRiD, said: “Employers are absolutely correct to be concerned about Millennials’ stress levels; this group is stressed about a trio of finances, home and work life. However, unless employers review their employee benefits packages accordingly, they run the risk of being like a long-lost aunt who comments ‘you’ve grown’ without really acknowledging any other changes.” 

GRiD advises employers to be alert to the constantly changing circumstances of each generation and to review their employee benefits package to ensure it is still relevant and appropriate.

The organisation says it is the right and responsible thing for employers to offer their Millennials benefits that support them on a macro financial level such as income protection or critical illness cover, but their challenge may be that younger employees don’t entirely see the immediate need.

One solution is to combine that financial support with other benefits that can be tailored to the individual’s life stage and day-to-day issues. For example, as well as providing a financial pay out, many group risk products contain access to an employee assistance programme which can be used even if a claim is never made. Amongst other benefits, these programmes help employees to manage their own mental health as well as provide support for any issues that cause anxiety or distress on a personal level including debt management, accountancy, lawsuits, consumer disputes, property or neighbour issues.