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The notion of the traditional biweekly paycheck structure is being challenged by workers.
This is according to a study by the Workforce Institute at Kronos, which found that 72% of the 1,180 United States-based employees surveyed want access to their wages before their payday.
“Amazon Prime, Lyft, Netflix, Venmo: The world has changed dramatically to usher in a generation of on-demand services, yet most organizations still think about payday as a rigid, set-in-stone process,” said Joyce Maroney, executive director at Kronos. “Employers who can ease the burden of financial stress by being more agile around payday and offering creative financial wellness benefits will be repaid by orders of magnitude in productivity and engagement.”
The “Death of the Traditional Paycheck” survey was conducted to better understand how immediate access to earned wages (i.e., on-demand pay) and financial wellness can support recruitment, retention and a better employee experience.
When going by industry, 65% of those who work in retail, 61% of health-care workers and 54% of manufacturing/construction employees think they should have access to their earned wages before a scheduled payday. More than half of all employees (51%) believe on-demand pay is a more attractive benefit than additional paid time off.
The survey also found that employees with a household income of less than $50,000 per year are more likely than those with a household income of more than $50,000 per year to wish they could have early access to their earned wages (87% vs. 67%). Just 6% of employees are paid on-demand today, but if they had the option, 43% would choose to be paid on-demand instead of a scheduled pay day.
Other key findings:
- More than half of employees (53%) agree financial stress distracts them from their work.
- Two-thirds of employees (66%) wish they had early access to earned wages to simply cover bills, especially emergency expenses such as a car repair (32%) or unplanned medical care (19%). Enjoying a night out (11%), Black Friday/Cyber Monday/holiday shopping (10%), and student loan repayments (6%) were among the least likely reasons to want on-demand pay.
- The vast majority of hourly (75%) and salary (71%) workers would consider paying up to a $5 fee reasonable to access $50 of their wages before payday. Nearly one in 10 (8%) workers would consider a staggering $50 fee reasonable to access $50 of their earned wages early, which could signal a desperation among some for safe and reliable access to their own money as an alternative to short-term payday loans.
- Three-quarters of employees (74%) said they would prefer to work for an employer that offers financial planning, budgeting and automated savings tools than one that does not.
- More than half of employees (57%) said they would work harder and stay longer at a company that offers on-demand pay, with no significant difference between hourly (58%) and salary (56%) employees.