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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Love

How does an extra $1,000 in your bank account sound?

It’s the Progressive Practice of the Week! This update brings to your inbox the finer details of one progressive practice from around the world

This week we learn about one international organisation supporting its most vulnerable workers with the increased cost of living.

Singapore: The increased cost of living is impacting people across the world, and one international organisation is addressing this head on by offering additional financial support to its 14,000 employees.


The Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) is offering S$1,000 payments to its employees and employees of subsidiaries such as Bank of Singapore, OCBC Securities and Great Eastern Holdings, including 4,600 of its junior employees.


The purpose of the payment is to support employees with the increased cost of living and is set to cost about S$9 million. While one-off payments are not new or particularly innovative, the focus on prioritising addressing lower paid employees with the cost of living is.


With the additional financial pressures due to inflation and the increased cost of living, a reoccurring theme that I’ve observed lately has been organisations supporting their people with financial initiatives to alleviate these pressures, with organisations like Chipotle in the US introducing benefits to support their mostly Gen Z employees with saving for retirement, paying off student loans and financial literacy training.


OCBC are also offering a range of resources like articles, tools, virtual talks, and workshops conducted by wealth advisors from the bank to employees to help manage their finances. And as it’s run internally, no additional external cost!


This is a sensible investment as we know that dealing with money issues can be stressful and distract employees from their everyday jobs, so supporting alleviating this pressure can help people be more productive at work.


If you’re interested to know more about how you can support yourself and your people to make better financial decisions, John Berry of Pathfinder Asset Management will be speaking at the HR Changemakers Festival in October about lifting financial, employee & planetary wellbeing. If your organisation’s default fund is with Pathfinder, they offer financial literacy education for your employees to help understand best ways to manage their money – which many of us didn’t learn at school!


I remember being appreciative of the benefits available to me via financial advice discounts through my employer, particularly as a young person with no idea how to manage my money, so if you work for a large employer, it could be worth understanding options to work with banks to offer this to your employees, many of them offering this for free.


Read more about OCBC’s initiative here.

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