Income Streaming Agreement Goes Live in Two NHS Trusts Give Staff Early Access to Pay

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Both Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust and Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust have launched income streaming initiatives, aiming to give staff access to a proportion of their earned pay before payday in a boost to their financial resilience.

The service is being provided to these trusts as Allocate Software InstantPay but is powered by the UK’s only income streaming provider, Wagestream.

Currently in the UK, a total of 34,000 UK nurses and doctors can now access some of their pay instantly, whenever they most need it.

The flurry of public sector interest in InstantPay represents a 66% rise in the number of NHS trusts offering staff the chance to use the service, which allows them to access a percentage of their accrued pay any day of the month, in real-time. This is known as income streaming.

Both Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust and Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust join the company’s three existing NHS clients — Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust, and Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Wagestream reduces the financial anxiety associated with unexpected expenses, a situation that could be exacerbated by the fallout of Covid-19 together with its impact on household finances. Income streaming doesn’t involve any loan or credit, so no interest is charged.

Having now partnered with Allocate to power its InstantPay product, NHS trusts can go live with the service in under a week.

Allocate and Wagestream have responded to the Covid-19 outbreak by making the service free to the NHS and its staff until August 2020. It has also introduced a fast-track onboarding process for new clients, which means any employer can launch the service for its staff in 24 hours, as opposed to three weeks.

It’s something that NHS chiefs have welcomed after an unprecedented few months coping with COVID-19. Helen Hempstock, Head of Operational HR at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We can see that InstantPay is going to be a key part of many employers’ toolkits in the future. Giving staff access to their pay when they need it felt like a big step when we first started looking at it but it’s not that revolutionary, and yet, it can make such a difference to the anxiety levels of those facing financial challenges.

“We anticipate seeing a significant uptake in this programme from our staff and look forward to actively promoting how this could support the wellbeing of the people that we work with. It’s also expected to have a direct impact on staff retention levels and the success of our recruitment in the future.”

Providing the service is Allocate Software, which employs 500 people in the UK, is a leading international provider of workforce and resource planning solutions, supporting the operational and administrative needs of healthcare, defence and maritime sectors.

It boasts over 800 clients and over a million staff rostered daily, serving the largest public and private sector institutions around the world. Its Optima, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), platform including HealthRoster and HealthMedics, helps to automate sophisticated scheduling and ensuring accurate pay for staff that have complex pay rules. Its workforce groups include doctors, nurses, therapists, care staff, operational staff and administrators.

Nick Wilson, CEO at Allocate Software, said: “Our partnership with Wagestream will not only enable us to ease some of the financial pressures that affect many of the healthcare workforce, but will also create an opportunity for healthcare organisations to offer an employee proposition which really supports their staff, helping both with recruitment and retention. All at a time when the dedication, care and support of this critical group of colleagues is needed most.”

Meanwhile, Wagestream is on a mission to bring better financial health to workers across the globe. By putting workplace data into the hands of workers, Wagestream’s financial solutions allow employees to track, budget, save and stream their earnings, all in real-time. Founded with a social purpose, its early charity investors include Fair by Design, Joseph Rowntree, Barrow Cadbury Trust, and Big Society Capital, social impact charities committed to improving the financial wellbeing of everyday people.

Peter Briffett, CEO and Co-Founder of Wagestream, believes that this type of solution could be a much better alternative for staff who had previously turned to payday loans. He said: “The public sector is spearheading massive adoption of income streaming as employers realise that alleviating unnecessary financial stress is a tremendous recruitment tool. It’s also cheap to adopt and incredibly quick and hassle-free to implement.

“Having access to their own money is really empowering for workers. InstantPay presents an obvious solution for NHS Trusts and frontline workers. Historically, NHS staff have suffered most at the hands of predatory lenders and have been the most prolific users of payday loans in Britain. With InstantPay, the need for payday loans is rendered obsolete, unleashing a wave of positives for staff who no longer have to get into debt to make it to payday.”

  • Gina is a FinTech journalist (BA, MA) who works across broadcast and print. She has written for most national newspapers and started her career in BBC local radio.

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