Halfords gives employees flexible pay cycles amid financial wellbeing push

Halfords has announced it is giving its employees a flexible pay cycle in a push to try and improve financial wellbeing and resilience.

The retailer was named one of the “Best Big Companies To Work For” by the Sunday Times last year when it offered its employees the “Here to Help” fund which offered emergency financial support during the pandemic.

Halfords has now gone one step further and teamed up with charity-backed fintech platform Wagestream which provides financial budgeting, savings and education through one app, built around a flexible pay cycle (also known as Earned Wage Access).

The initiative means that Halfords becomes one of the first big retailers to offer the flexible pay scheme after research revealed the impacts of different pay cycles.

Charities and campaigners behind the report said locked monthly pay has become a hidden ‘debt trap’ for working adults, calling on employers to roll out flexible pay (EWA) and financial wellbeing policies.

The flexible pay plan will mean that staff will are offered flexible access to wages already earned and owed during the month.

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Wagestream is a company set up to reduce financial stress for the everyday worker and improve financial health.

It is co-owned by Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Big Society Capital, Social Tech Trust, Barrow Cadbury Trust and the Fair By Design Fund.

Wagestream lends its services to over 500,000 employees from companies including Bupa, Co-op, Pizza Hut, Greene King and JD Sports.

“Supporting, developing and empowering our people has always been central to our success, as a company,” Halfords chief people officer Wendy Taylor said.

“Our colleagues’ resilience has meant that Halfords could not only operate as an essential retailer during the pandemic, but is ready to go from strength to strength as the UK opens back up.

That’s why we’re partnering with Wagestream to roll out a financial wellbeing programme that’s backed by leading charities and proven by data to improve quality of life. We’re proud to be the UK’s first listed retailer taking this step and excited to see the positive impact it will have on all our colleagues.”

Wagestream chief executive added: “Financial stress is an invisible, urgent problem for most working adults: 8 in 10 bring financial stress with them to work, and more than half say it’s their employer’s responsibility to help.

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