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Fintechs team up to support nine million at-risk workers, with better sick pay

Source: Wagestream

Wagestream, the UK’s fastest-growing fintech-for-good, has teamed up with French insurtech Wakam to launch Enhanced Sick Pay – a new product providing workers with affordable sick pay cover.

Now available to more than one million UK workers through employers offering Wagestream, the product is the UK’s first of its kind: income protection specifically designed to meet the needs of frontline workers, who are overlooked and underserved by the UK’s sick pay system.

The latest Low Pay Britain report highlighted that UK statutory sick pay ‘offers very little insurance against sickness, particularly when compared to other rich countries’, and is disproportionately unfair on the lowest-income workers: the 1.6million workers who earn less than £123 a week are ineligible for any statutory sick pay at all.

A recent study of 2,000 low-income workers found that the vast majority (83%) fear they would need to work through serious illness - because the current legislation means they can’t afford to take sick leave. More than a quarter (28%) of them would be forced to go without heating or eating, if signed off for work for two weeks or more.

Workers signed up to Wagestream through their employer will now have a safety net, for their sick pay. They can choose a plan to set aside money directly in the Wagestream app, based on their income level - which will then pay them up to half of their salary for periods of accident and sickness absence lasting over 7 days, and up to 90 days. Enhanced Sick Pay joins a range of other features already in the Wagestream app: workers at the likes of Bupa, Asda, Greene King and the NHS use Wagestream to manage budgeting, choose when to get paid, chat to a money coach, set aside money for a rainy day, save on bills and more - all in one app.

Solving the problem aligns with Wakam’s mission-driven approach to insurance, which is built around inclusive insurance products, transparent terms, lower distributor commission rates and a ‘Wakam For Good’ charitable fund - all overseen by a governance board. This ethical focus is a strong fit with Wagestream’s impact framework and fair financial product principles - which are overseen by its Impact Advisory Board.

Rob Moore, Director of Insurance at Wagestream comments: “As part of our mission to bring better financial wellbeing to frontline workers, we’re thrilled to partner with Wakam - a trusted insurance provider now in 32 countries, with an ethical approach that helps us put worker wellbeing first. Too many people come under financial stress if they lose their income for even just a week - but with this partnership, we’ll be able to tackle the problem and give employers a valuable new addition to their financial wellbeing toolkit in the process.”

Olivier Jaillon, CEO & CPO of Wakam adds: “We are really proud of this partnership with Wagestream, which allows us to further consolidate our presence in the UK. As a mission-driven company, we see our own values reflected in Wagestream’s strong commitment to society. We are excited to be part of this journey.”

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