Money worries push employees to consider suicide

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Labour MP Yvonne Fovargue calls on employers to take more responsibility for employee financial wellbeing as research shows a link between debt and mental ill health

One quarter of UK workers (23%) said they have considered suicide in the past six months because of personal debts and financial worries, according to financial employee benefit provider GettaSub.

Its research, which surveyed 2,000 people across the UK about their financial wellbeing, revealed that money worries are having a clear impact on employee mental health.

Out of those who had considered taking their own life, 9% said they had considered it more than once.

The research also found that 17% of employees have recently called a debt helpline and 16% have consulted their GP because of the stress caused by their financial situation.

Employees often try to hide their financial woes from others, researchers said, with four in 10 (41%) saying they have lied about their money problems to friends and family in the past six months, and one in 10 (10%) admitting doing this more than twice.

Furthermore, 24% have been chased by debt collectors for overdue payments, with this happening more than twice to 10% of employees.

Yvonne Forvague, Labour MP for Makerfield and chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Debt and Personal Finance, said that UK employers need to do more to support employees' financial wellbeing.

“Personal debt is a serious problem in this country, particularly for those on low incomes. It doesn’t take much for people to fall into a downward spiral of debt. It might be an income shock or an unexpected expense, perhaps just a broken washing machine or higher than normal utility bill. Any decent employer should have a vested interest in ensuring that its employees are not weighed down by debt,” she said.

Ann Marie Bell, director of GettaSub, added that it is time employers treat the issue as an urgent matter: "It’s clear that hard-pressed workers are being pushed to breaking point by the rising cost of living. These findings should serve as an urgent wake-up call for employers to provide much stronger financial and personal support to staff.”

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