Employers, now more than ever, need to provide access to independent financial advice to their employees, says the boss of deVere Group.
The observation from Nigel Green, the chief executive and founder of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and services companies, comes as firms and staff seek to readjust their financial strategies due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Green says: “There is enormous global progress being made in the public health fight against coronavirus, and the economic fallout from it, thanks to the commitment of individuals, organisations, businesses, central banks and governments, amongst others.
“However, the pandemic has had immediate, dramatic and far-reaching effects on business activity.
“And the true depth of the dislocation still remains to be seen.
“Of course, a recovery will come, perhaps even comparatively quickly. But the world of work has changed – as it always does in serious economic downturns.”
The message from the deVere CEO comes as firms are desperately trying to minimise redundancies and deal with supply and/or demand issues, many people have been furloughed, and many are deeply concerned about their financial security.
He continues: “Despite – or indeed because of – the considerable challenges they are currently faced with, in this shifting and disruptive environment, employers should seek to give employees access to impartial, financial advice.
“This access would benefit the employers, the employees, and broader society and economy.”
Mr Green goes on to say: “Incorporating a financial adviser into an employee’s benefits program doesn’t need to be an extra cost or a difficult undertaking for an employer.
“These advice sessions are typically offered completely free of charge, both for the company and for the employee.
“By upgrading and boosting their employees’ benefits programs, employers will be able to attract and retain top talent during the recovery and beyond, which is likely to be critical to their success.
“In addition, this crisis has underscored that increasingly companies will only survive and thrive if they operate with a nod from the wider court of public approval.”
He adds: “When employees are aware and in control of their personal finances, they’re on track to reach their long-term financial goals, typically in terms of their children’s education, protecting their assets, or preparing for their own retirement.
“In turn, this makes them happier, less stressed, more focused, more productive and more engaged with their employer.”
Nigel Green concludes: “We need a ‘joined-up thinking’ approach to financial advice.
“It’s in everyone’s interests that the workforce is as financially secure as possible.
“The cost of having an increasingly large section of the population being financially dependent on the State is damaging to individuals, families and society and it will significantly impede sustainable, long-term economic growth.
“Now is the time for employers to actively engage with the financial advisory industry.”