Holland & Barrett gives 5,000 employees real-time access to wages earned with Wagestream – Retail Times


Wagestream has partnered with one of Europe’s leading health and wellness retailers, Holland & Barrett, who launched their Earned Wage Access (EWA) service to give colleagues access to their earned wages when they need it.

The company offers the service to its 5,000 UK colleagues to help them build their financial resilience and overall well-being – and it couldn’t have happened at a more crucial time.

The Wagestream platform will give company colleagues instant access to a percentage of their earned salary on any day of the month. Colleagues will also have access to a range of financial education tools provided by the app.

Earned Wage Access reduces the financial anxiety and stress associated with unexpected expenses, a situation that can be exacerbated by the monthly payroll cycle. By giving workers access to the money they have already earned, they are less likely to need to resort to expensive forms of credit and to go into debt.

Each time a colleague ‘transfers’ part of their earned salary to their bank account, they pay a simple lump sum of £ 1.75. There are no loans involved and therefore no interest.

A key benefit for employers is that the facility has no impact on the company’s cash flow – salaries are therefore paid by the employer as usual at the end of the month. For companies that offer shift work, another immediate benefit is that it becomes easier to provide rotations, as instant access to their pay reestablishes the direct link between work and pay. In fact, Wagestream data shows that workers enrolled in the service choose to work 22% overtime on average.

Wagestream is working with companies across all industries and has responded to the Covid-19 outbreak by making its revenue streaming service free for the NHS and its staff. It also introduced a fast-track onboarding process for new customers, which means any employer can launch the service for their staff in seven days, instead of three weeks.

Wagestream also produces user webinars that teach employees how to manage their money and has created an online resource center that identifies information and rights that affect them.

Tricia Foster, Head of Compensation & Benefits at Holland & Barrett, said: “At Holland & Barrett, we believe in the importance of making wellness accessible to everyone, and that includes focusing on impact of financial stability on the mental health of our colleagues.

“Access to earned wages is relatively new and extremely exciting for us and all of our colleagues. It was easy to implement and offers our colleagues much greater protection against the financial pain of unforeseen expenses.

“We hope that Wagestream will provide our colleagues with that additional network of support that is so much needed during a difficult time for all, as well as boost recruitment across the company by showing our flexibility and support as a ‘welfare employer.’

Peter Briffett, CEO and Co-Founder of Wagestream, commented: “Access to on-demand compensation is a core employee benefit that all employers can deliver without harming the company’s cash flow, and we are delighted to welcome Holland & Barrett.

“Access to earned wages is expected to be one of the most important innovations in the world of work during this decade. It frees up financial freedoms for all staff.

“It is critical that we move the workforce away from a situation where it depends on expensive short-term payday loans and credit, a dependency that is exacerbated by the monthly payroll cycle.


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