It's the 45th minute of her hour-and-a-half commute from work on Monday night. She just paid the fare for the second of three busses she takes twice a day, five days a week, to get to and from her job at your office. Today, holiday cheer surrounds her, but she feels lost. There are two days before Christmas, and she hasn’t started her Christmas shopping. As each passenger climbs on board, shopping bags in hand, she feels pangs of pressure and guilt. How can she NOT get at least a few small gifts for each of her two children to open on Christmas morning?
With Christmas on Wednesday, and no access to a car or credit card, she considers her options: she is going to have to rely on one store with enough variety to buy gifts for her twelve-year old girl and eight-year old boy. And since Christmas Eve is tomorrow, she should probably shop tonight. But her husband works evenings, so she’s going to have to figure out what to do with her kids. She looks at the bus schedule hanging behind hard plastic and wonders what busses she’ll need to take and to where.
To save time and an extra bus transfer or two, she’ll need to use an out-of-network ATM. Doing so will eat $3.75 of the $35 in her bank account. Plus, she remembers, she’ll have to take out money in multiples of twenty. She digests the idea that to buy a few gifts, she’ll have to take out $40 and pay overdraft fees. The weight of the $150 it will cost to take out $40 sits heavily in her stomach. But, she reasons, that’s what overtime’s for. She worked twenty hours of it over the last ten days, and she’ll be paid for it on the 27th. As she presses the button for the next stop, she readies herself for the long night and week ahead.
This is what a lack of access looks like. Your favorite employee has no access to the money she has earned but has yet to be paid. She doesn’t have access to a credit card. She doesn’t have access to quick and convenient transportation or childcare for her kids. She has to make decisions, and she doesn’t have good options. Most people like her—those living paycheck to paycheck—feel the pain of lack of access at every turn.
Our Christmas story can be re-written, and in it, your favorite employee can take a deep breath and enjoy the holidays with ease. You can help.
As you consider gifts for employees this holiday season, consider the gift of access. Earned Wage Access, or EWA, from PayActiv enables employees to access their wages as they earn them. Employers can incorporate the benefit into their existing payroll and HR systems at no cost, and employees pay just five dollars every two week to use it. Employees also gain access to useful services for paying bills, saving money, accessing Uber, and otherwise managing their finances. Best of all, EWA is a gift that you can give now and will last throughout the year.
Holistic Financial Wellness
Learn how PayActiv measurably reduces employee financial stress and employee turnover.