The aim of the project is to help businesses implement savings schemes in the workplace where staff can save directly from their wages.
Thirty County Durham businesses have already signed up to Durham Savers, including the local NHS Trust and South Durham Enterprise Agency, while more than 50 schools in the county are also involved.
Cllr Jane Brown, Cabinet member for social inclusion, said: “We know that half of the population have less than £100 in savings and that 70 per cent of families in County Durham are worried about their finances, so putting a little bit away each month can make a real difference.”
This also fits into the much wider Public Health agenda that is looking at the physical and mental wellbeing of workers called the “Better Health at Work Award”.
The award helps business formalise the work they are often already doing around staff wellbeing but includes financial resilience.
The project’s credit union partner has developed systems that make it easy for businesses to setup and offer their employees a simple method of saving directly from their pay. They take care of membership recruitment and all administration.
Paul Atkinson, Durham Savers project lead, said: “We know the introduction of this scheme can stop people turning to high-cost lenders.”
Research shows that being more in control of finances, leads to less sickness due to stress, more motivated staff and better health generally.
The scheme is funded by Great Aycliffe and Middridge Partnership, Spennymoor AAP and East Durham Rural Corridor AAP.
Contact them to find out more and arrange for someone to visit your business and show you how you and your staff could benefit from Durham Savers.