NHS staff have historically suffered the most at the hands of “predatory lenders” and payday loan systems.
Two NHS trusts in England have launched a new system giving all staff access to their pay earlier than payday, whenever they most need it.
Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust and Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust will offer all staff early access to a proportion of their wage using Allocate Software’s InstantPay powered by Wagestream.
They join three existing trusts offering the service; Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust, and Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust.
The system is said to help reduce the financial anxiety associated with unexpected expenses, a situation that could be exacerbated by the fallout of Covid-19 together with its impact on household finances.
Income streaming doesn’t involve any loan or credit, so no interest is charged.
Wagestream, the company behind the system, claim that NHS staff have historically suffered most at the hands of “predatory lenders” and payday loan systems.
Helen Hempstock, Head of Operational HR at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We can see that InstantPay is going to be a key part of many employers’ toolkits in the future. Giving staff access to their pay when they need it felt like a big step when we first started looking at it but it’s not that revolutionary, and yet, it can make such a difference to the anxiety levels of those facing financial challenges.
“We anticipate seeing a significant uptake in this programme from our staff and look forward to actively promoting how this could support the wellbeing of the people that we work with. It’s also expected to have a direct impact on staff retention levels and the success of our recruitment in the future.”
Allocate and Wagestream have responded to the Covid-19 outbreak by making the service free to the NHS and its staff until August 2020. It has also introduced a fast-track onboarding process for new clients, which means any employer can launch the service for its staff in 24 hours, as opposed to three weeks.
Peter Briffett, CEO and Co-Founder of Wagestream, commented: “The public sector is spearheading massive adoption of income streaming as employers realise that alleviating unnecessary financial stress is a tremendous recruitment tool. It’s also cheap to adopt and incredibly quick and hassle-free to implement.”
“InstantPay presents an obvious solution for NHS Trusts and frontline workers. Historically, NHS staff have suffered most at the hands of predatory lenders and have been the most prolific users of payday loans in Britain. With InstantPay, the need for payday loans is rendered obsolete, unleashing a wave of positives for staff who no longer have to get into debt to make it to payday.”