Press release 3 October 2023.
As World Mental Health Day approaches, new research1 from GRiD, the industry body for the group risk sector shows that employers believe that stress and anxiety related to finances and debt is the number one health and wellbeing concern among all generational employee demographics, with the exception of Baby-boomers2.
This cause of stress and anxiety was cited by 30% of employers for Gen X, by 33% for Millennials/Generation Y and by 31% for Generation Z. For Baby-boomers, employers are most concerned (30%) about the issue of living with long-term chronic illness or health conditions, such as diabetes.
Comparison with 2022
In similar research undertaken in 2022, employers thought that stress and anxiety related to finances and debt was a primary issue for just Gen Z and Millennials/Gen Y. However, this year, employers feel that stress and anxiety related to finances and debt is now the most pressing issue for Gen X too, replacing stress related to work for this generation. This reflects the ongoing cost of living crisis and how its impact is affecting a greater number of people.
When employees were asked directly themselves about the biggest concerns for their own health and wellbeing this year (2023), they agreed that the same issue was most prevalent: stress and anxiety relating to finances was the most common issue troubling Gen Z, Millennials/Gen Y, and Gen X. Baby-boomers agreed with their employers that living with long-term chronic illness or health conditions (e.g. diabetes) is their most pressing health and wellbeing concern.
The pattern is clear: namely that with the cost-of-living crisis, employee finances are under strain, and this is taking its toll on employee health and wellbeing. With physical and mental health so closely linked, what can begin as an isolated issue, can have consequences in a number of other areas of health and wellbeing too, so it’s important to have a means to deal with these issues efficiently and effectively.
Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, said: “Employees are mostly in agreement about what their most pressing health and wellbeing concerns are, however, the important thing is for employers to put support in place to help alleviate this stress. If it is not already in available, World Mental Health Day is a good a time to address a shortfall in provision.”
Although stress and anxiety related to finances and debt is most employees’ primary concern, there are lots of other issues that are in close contention, including concerns relating to general lack of fitness (due to non-active lifestyle/sedentary working) and related to work (such as pressures of overwork, uncertainty of future). It’s therefore important to cater for all health and wellbeing concerns across all employee generations.
Katharine Moxham concluded: “Our research shows that employers are in tune with their staff and have a good understanding of the wider issues that affect their health and wellbeing. However, employers that offer employee benefits such as group risk (employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness), are better placed than most to offer help for their employees’ main concerns, as the embedded support covers all areas of health and wellbeing for all generations of staff.”
- Ends –
The research was undertaken by Opinium from 9-22 January 2023 among 503 HR decision-makers at UK businesses.
Baby-boomers (aged 59-77).
Gen Z (up to age 27)
Millennials / Generation Y (age 28– 46)
Generation X (age 47 – 58).
For further information please contact:
SMUK Marketing and PR
Mob: 07887 484247
Spokesperson for GRiD
Mob: 07887 512508
Notes for editors
Group Risk Development (GRiD) is the industry body for the group risk sector, promoting the value to UK businesses of providing financial protection for their staff, enhancing their well-being and improving employee engagement. Our membership includes insurers, reinsurers, intermediaries and those operating in (or with other interests in) the UK group risk market. Together this forms a collective wealth of experience built over many years. Under the chairmanship of Paul White (head of technical, Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing) GRiD aims to promote group risk through a collective voice to Government, policymakers, stakeholders and employers.
GRiD works with government departments and regulators involved in legislation and regulation affecting group risk benefits, and with other organisations involved in the benefits and financial protection arenas. GRiD also seeks to enhance the industry's standing by encouraging best practice and by participating in industry-wide initiatives such as the professional qualification in group risk managed jointly with the Chartered Insurance Institute.
GRiD’s media activity aims to generate a wider awareness and understanding of group risk products and their benefits for employers and employees.
GRiD's dedicated spokesperson, Katharine Moxham, provides expert media comment on a full range of group risk issues.
Follow Katharine Moxham on Twitter @KMoxham