Go back

What if your employee has financial problems?

30 November 2022 Ellen Van Grunderbeek Employers

These are challenging times for you as an employer, but your employees also have financial challenges today. These challenges can give rise to fear and anxiety, which can have a negative impact on psychosocial well-being. How do you recognise employees with financial problems? And how can you deal with that in your organisation?

Reading time: Read later?

Be alert

Talking about money worries is mostly taboo. Chances are slim that your employee himself will cite financial problems. Try to be alert to signs, certain behavioural changes, that may be there with money problems. For example:

  • Your employee no longer eats with other colleagues.
  • Your employee is quieter than usual.
  • Your employee comes to the office less (in his private car).
  • etc.

Recognise and break the taboo

Do you suspect your employee has financial problems? Then try to have an open conversation , leaving out assumptions and (pre-)judgements. We give you a guide for your conversation:

  1. Name the behavioural change.
    I notice that lately you don't join us for dinner.
  2. Indicate why you want to engage in conversation about this.
    That's why I worry about you.
  3. Offer security and confidentiality, make sure no one can listen in.
    If there is something, and you want to share it with me, I promise you that will stay between us.
  4. Actively listen to the answer.
    Ask additional questions for clarification, interact (nod), summarise, make eye contact and take time for the conversation.
  5. Pay attention to body language.
    Do his eyes tell the same story as his words? For example, "Yes, everything's fine", while your co-worker avoids eye contact.

So you don't have to provide solutions during this conversation. You offer a listening ear, and sometimes that is enough.

Point the way to support

In other cases, you may need to refer your employee to agencies and/or support services.

Give your employees a financial boost

You can also give your employees a (financial) boost themselves. Some ideas:

  • free soup and/or drinks or a fruit, vegetable or nut basket in the workplace;
  • discount on products/services you sell/manufacture yourself as a company;
  • an advance on the end-of-year bonus;
  • a free loan or a loan at reduced interest rate;
  • fringe benefits such as a meal voucher or eco voucher;
  • etc.

Company in difficulties?

These are not easy times. Find out how to create financial breathing space as a business.

Contact us

Share this post


Written by Ellen Van Grunderbeek

Legal advisor at Acerta

Related articles

Changes in Flemish target group reductions

Changes in Flemish target group reductions

05 May 2023 Liselot Baert

As an employer, you pay quarterly social security contributions to the NSSO, but did you know that you may be eligible for a target group reduction? This means a significant reduction in your wage bill for several quarters. However, there will be some changes to certain existing target group reductions in Flanders in the coming period. In this blog...

Read more
Purchasing power premium: what do we already know?

Purchasing power premium: what do we already know?

28 April 2023 Ellen Van Grunderbeek

The government reached an agreement on the 2023-2024 wage index in late November 2022. This agreement provides for a purchasing power premium. The government approved the legal framework of this premium for the first time at the Council of Ministers on 23 December 2022. What do we already know and what are the next steps?

Read more
What does the Group of Ten’s social agreement involve?

What does the Group of Ten’s social agreement involve?

17 March 2023 Ellen Van Grunderbeek

The Group of Ten reached an agreement on 15 March 2023 on several files such as end-of-career schemes, overtime and tax-advantaged 'relance' overtime and supplementary pensions.

Read more