The first half of 2020 revealed some uncomfortable truths about America’s economy and how it affects hourly workers. The spread of COVID-19 caused both economic and health crises, causing millions of Americans to hunker down in the name of social distancing — and thousands of non-essential businesses to close up shop nationwide.
For employers that stayed open and kept some or all of their workforces intact, the game changed seemingly overnight. Household names like Walmart, Target, and Starbucks dominated the news cycle, conversations swirling around higher wages, hazard pay, workplace safety, and paid medical leave. Organizations like JUST Capital began closely monitoring corporate America’s pandemic response, highlighting which companies were leading the way and which were trailing behind. Millions of Americans saw a new side of the nation’s largest corporations; the ability to better support workers was there all along.
Just when it looked like America might be ready to open up again, we reversed course. And hourly workers continued to bear the brunt of this uncertainty, enduring fluctuating working schedules, questionable conditions, and months of lost income and financial disruption. A consensus has emerged among the media, general public, and business leaders alike: Workers need help with money.
Traditional approaches to workforce well-being often focus solely on physical health, but we know from listening to our associates that financial well-being is just as important.
– Jacqui Canney, Walmart’s Chief People Officer [Source]
This has led many companies to begin looking at earned wage access. The concept that workers are better off if they don’t have to wait for payday is well understood — it helps them retain control over their own lives, and avoid predatory alternatives like payday solutions — but earned wage access itself as a solution is less cut and dry.
When employers choose to offer earned wage access, their goal is generally twofold: help workers, and help the business. But while all earned wage access products will deliver on their base promise — providing on-demand pay for workers — not all of them will actually help employees or the business. In fact, some of them could cause harm.
To help employers understand the differences between different solutions, we’ve published Earned Wage Access: A Guide to Getting it Right. The book will help answer to these types of questions:
With this guide in hand, you as an employer will have everything you need to understand, evaluate, and select an earned wage access solution that fits your employees’ needs and your company’s goals. Get started now; your employees are waiting. You can download the guide for free here.
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