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Brains gives 1,600 staff early access to furlough pay with income streaming

Brewing, pub and hotel giant, SA Brain is now giving its 1,600 staff the chance to access their furlough pay early during the pandemic.

The 138-year-old Cardiff-based firm has more than 200 sites and has chosen to launch income streaming from Wagestream to help their staff cope with any unplanned expenses. The aim is to relieve the additional financial pressure the coronavirus crisis is placing on many UK households.

Income streaming gives workers early access to their accrued pay when they need it and Wagestream has extended its service to cover furlough pay from the Government during the crisis.

Wagestream’s new solution designed for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme means it will pay furloughed workers 50% of their accrued ‘furloughed pay’ on demand.

Wagestream, in partnership with Fourth, allows staff to draw down, or ‘income stream’, a percentage of their earned wages any day of the month for a flat £1.75 fee, without impacting employers’ cash flow. There are no loans involved and therefore no interest is charged.

Income streaming will reduce the financial stress associated with unexpected expenses thrown up by the coronavirus lockdown, with tens of millions of people nationwide facing mortgage payments, rent and utility bills alongside the very real prospect of job losses within households. This will be putting the finances of many households under intense pressure, creating an immediate need to release funds to workers.

Wagestream works with businesses across the leisure, pub, bar and restaurant sector and has been responding to the Covid-19 outbreak by making its income streaming service free to the NHS and its staff.

It has also introduced a fast-track on-boarding process for new clients, which means any employer can launch the service for its staff in 24 hours, as opposed to three weeks.

Wagestream also produces webinars for users that teach them how to look after their money and has built an online resource hub that identifies what information and entitlements are relevant to them.

Kate Ablett, Head of People at Brains, said, “We can’t wait to get everyone back to work but while the crisis continues to rumble on we saw this as one way to bolster the financial resilience of staff.

“Our employees are all coping extremely well, and we’re extremely proud of them, but we know some will be facing unexpected expenses. Being able to get their hands on furlough pay ahead of time will give them that extra bit of breathing room should they need it.”

Peter Briffett, CEO and Co-Founder of Wagestream, commented, “We continue to see a constant stream of enquiries about income streaming, from companies of all sizes. Flexible pay is the single most positive benefit an employer can give their colleagues.

“Household finances are being affected in all kinds of ways and, for many, being able to draw down their own money earlier than usual is saving them a lot of unnecessary anxiety.

“Our technology is definitely proving to be a uniquely useful financial tool during this pandemic. We’re delighted so many household names are choosing to take advantage of it and we’ve been able to make it free for the NHS for as long as this crisis continues.”