Leading health and social care provider Virgin Care has rolled out a new financial wellbeing initiative to its workforce - partnering with fintech scale-up Wagestream to introduce a range of innovative services that help boost employees’ financial wellbeing - including on-demand pay.
Virgin Care has been working in partnership with the NHS and local authorities since it was founded in 2006, and now delivers high quality, publicly funded services to half a million people per year. These services include primary care, sexual health and adult and children community health and social care services.
The organisation takes pride in transforming services, with a focus on experience, efficiency and outcomes. With 15 years’ experience in delivering innovation, some key developments include mobile working and care co-ordination, which create real improvements for the communities it serves. It employs more than 4,500 health and social care colleagues including more than 1,000 nurses, around 100 Doctors, GPs and consultants and 300 health care assistants. With the aim of improving experiences and having a positive difference on peoples’ lives, the Virgin Group have invested more than £75 million into the NHS and frontline services.
As part of the rollout, team members will benefit from EWA (Earned Wage Access) — helping them deal with unexpected expenses and prevent financial strain, by accessing a percentage of their already-earned wages any day of the month for a flat £1.75 fee. There are no loans involved and no interest is charged; EWA is proven by data to reduce reliance on predatory lending and other forms of credit.
As well as being the market-leading provider of EWA, Wagestream provides a full suite of financial resilience tools — allowing users to track their income, put money away with a micro-savings tool called Safestream, and learn money skills with financial education delivered within the app in conjunction with The Money Advice Service. This includes on-demand videos that empower staff to look after their money, and an online resource hub that identifies what information and entitlements are relevant to them.
Half a million workers currently have access to Wagestream through employers including Bupa, Brewdog, Zizzi and Roadchef, Greene King, Fuller’s and Honest Burgers — as well around 30 NHS Trusts. The charity-backed scale-up closed a £20m Series B in 2020, and last month acquired fellow fintech Earnd's Australian operations.
Wagestream’s own research recently found that 72% of employees with access feel less stressed; 31% have relied less on their overdraft, 38% have relied less on credit cards and 88% have relied less on payday loans.
Samantha Kane, Chief People Officer at Virgin Care, said:
“We’re so proud of the role our colleagues have played in continuing to provide high quality health and social care services to our communities during this challenging year. But, for them to feel equipped and empowered to play that role, they also need to be supported.
“That’s why we’re excited to be rolling out this pioneering app for our teams. Partnering with Wagestream will give our people the ability to track, access, save and manage money more easily. If we can help reduce financial stress and give them greater financial freedom, in the process, that can only be a good thing for everyone.”
Peter Briffett, CEO and Co-Founder of Wagestream, said:
“We all know what a vital role health and social care professionals play, now more than ever. And yet, too many of them are denied access to fair financial services and left to deal with the financial stress that comes as a result.
That’s what we’re passionate about solving, at Wagestream, and it’s why we’re proud to be partnering with Virgin Care - a forward-thinking organisation that puts people at the heart of everything it does. The data now shows that the ability to track, access, save and manage wages in real-time is incredibly powerful, and we look forward to seeing the whole Virgin Care organisation benefit from it.”