Nearly two in five Brits have failed to go to work because they were unable to pay for the commute, according to new research.
That figure rises to nearly two-thirds in London, with 60% of respondents saying they have skipped work due to financial constraints.
The study, commissioned by employee benefit provider Hastee Pay and conducted by research firm Vitreous World, asked employees in the UK how they financially survive the month until payday.
As many as 82% said they had to source additional funds and high-cost credit to get through to payday – including credit cards, overdrafts and payday loans.
Overall, the study showed that three quarters of workers in Britain have been affected by personal finance-related stress.
Bev Budsworth, MD of The Debt Advisor Ltd, said: “Borrowing money to pay travel costs does have a serious impact on personal finances. The financial commitments will eat into money that should be available to pay the next tranche of travel costs.
“Unsurprisingly, employees are skipping work to save costs but a poor attendance record could lose them their job. The key to managing is effective budgeting and there are some really helpful tools and apps available to help with this, such as these budgeting apps.”
Should employers do more?
More than half (53%) of those surveyed believe their employer has a responsibility to offer financial support to employees.
Campaigners have also called on companies to do more to help staff get on top of their finances.
Speaking to The Daily Mirror, financial expert and TV presenter Jasmine Birtles, of Moneymagpie.com, added: “These findings show how important it is for people to be financially fit in order to have more stability in their lives and also to be more productive at work.
“Employers have a lot on their plates as it is, but these figures show that if they help their employees get on top of their finances it will materially improve their bottom line.”
Worryingly, those experiencing financial difficulties was not limited to low-income earners, with employees on six-figure salaries also reporting difficulty with cash flow.
Experts added that the solution to cash flow issues comes down to four main factors:
- Better wages from employers
- Better management of income from employees
- Financial education from a younger age
- Employers being realistic about how their workforce lives.
Rising cost of train travel
The rising cost of train travel has also played a role and it has also been revealed this week that train passengers are missing out on millions of pounds in compensation for delays to their journeys because the refund process is too complicated.
As reported by The Telegraph, the report by Transport Focus found that more than £100m in train delay compensation went unclaimed in 2017/18 and a mere 35% of passengers affected submitted claims.
Some customers do not claim compensation because they are unaware they are entitled to it, while others believe it is not worth the effort.
However, punctuality on the UK’s rail network fell to a record low in 2018, with more than eight million passengers having their journeys delayed by at least 29 minutes, according to Which?
The consumer group is now calling on rail passengers to “make their voice heard” by applying for compensation each time they experience a train delay, in addition to calling on train companies to make the compensation claim process quicker and easier for passengers.
Most rail firms offer the delay repay scheme, with some paying out compensation once a journey is delayed by at least 15 minutes.
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