Employers Need to Rethink Payday if they Want to Keep Staff

I challenge you to find a single Australian who hasn’t experienced bill shock sometime in the last month. Petrol costs more than $2 a litre, a single lettuce is selling for more than $10, and we’re being warned to prepare for the worst when we receive our latest electricity bill. The fact so many Australians are living paycheck to paycheck is no longer a shameful secret, it’s a brutal reality. They’re needing hundreds of extra dollars a week just to put a roof over their heads.

So, why is it that we all have to wait a month, a fortnight or even a week to be paid by our employer? We work the hours, it’s our money, yet every month thousands of Australians are left counting down the days on their calendar until payday or sliding into debt due to an unexpected bill or emergency because they’ve been caught short.

Most of us would feel deeply uncomfortable asking for a pay advance from our boss. Ernst and Young research shows 70 per cent of Australians have never asked for one because it would be too difficult or awkward to have that conversation. It’s deeply personal and it could be seen as a sign of weakness, irresponsibility or incompetence.