Bristow & Sutor understands financial wellbeing and overall wellbeing are closely linked. Worrying about finances makes mental health worse, which in turn makes it harder to manage money. Research shows that one in four employees admit that anxiety about money has affected their ability to do their job, a figure that may well now be higher because of the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
That’s why financial wellbeing is considered in every aspect of what we do. But this mindset does not just extend to vulnerable debtors and the clients we engage with. We ensure the same care and attention is given to our own staff as well. Bristow & Sutor recently announced the rollout of two initiatives which aim to help employees identify saving opportunities and provide additional support including access to financial advice specialists.
All employees now have access to the Health Assured Employee Assistance Programme. Health Assured is the UK and Ireland's largest award-winning EAP service, a suite of wellbeing tools that offer employees and their families a structured way to work through physical or mental health issues and financial difficulties. Support includes access to the My Healthy Advantage app and online portal, a comprehensive library of resources, access to a 24-hour helpline and both Telephone and face-to-face counselling opportunities; so staff may work through difficulties with a qualified therapist accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).
Whilst the coronavirus has highlighted the importance of financial wellbeing, the need for it has always been there and it is not something new to Bristow & Sutor. For some time now, the company has been offering employees exclusive discounts, from groceries to fashion, travel and more. Employees signed on to the B&S Group Perks discount scheme benefit from hundreds of offers from top high street retailers including ASOS, Sainsbury’s, Currys PC World, Cineworld, Hotels.com, John Lewis and many more. This year alone, members of staff have saved over £7,000.
Furthermore, this time last year saw the introduction of Hastee and many employees have benefitted from this approach during 2020. Hastee allows Bristow & Sutor employees the ability to withdraw a proportion of earned gross pay on the day it is earned so that they can access money whenever it is needed, in advance of payday. This has given peace of mind to many during recent unprecedented times, but before that, has also helped employees with day-to-day life such as shopping or bill payments, preventing the need to consider high-cost credit such as payday loans. As members of Hastee, employees also get access to financial wellbeing information and guidance.
Financial flexibility is crucial, especially at the moment, so we are proud to have been one of the early companies to give our employees access to this benefit. Hastee has gone on to win awards and has been adopted by London City Airport, IRIS, Mitchells & Butlers, various NHS trusts and many others.
This internal support with financial wellbeing ensures our employees are best placed to focus their minds and efforts on improving the financial situations of those who they come into contact with. Upon resuming activity, all clients are provided a copy of the latest Bristow & Sutor safe working procedures, to ensure what can and cannot be expected is understood and adhered to by all involved. This includes insight into the PPE training EAs have undertaken, the methods we are adopting to ensure the vulnerable are protected and all the other ways we are conducting ourselves safely and successfully.
Bristow & Sutor remains committed as ever to its ethos of being Cool, Calm and Collected.