Helping employees facing financial hardship

Find out some ways you can effectively support your team and foster a thriving workforce


As a small business owner, the financial well-being of your employees is vital to your company's success. Financial difficulties can impact employee productivity, morale, mental health and happiness, all which may affect your business operation. Luckily there are a range of resources and steps to help your employees through tough times. 


First, ensure you have an environment where employees feel they can be honest about their challenges. While some people may feel shame or embarrassment about their situation, everyone is entitled to help when they need it, and many people face hardships for a variety of reasons, often beyond their control. 


Here are some ways you can effectively support your team and foster a thriving workforce.

Government grants and subsidies


Possibly your employees are unaware of the government support available for hardship. Either promote or post internally the Government assistance that's available. 


As a first step, send employees to ASB's Support Finder Tool, where answering a few questions will help connect them with government benefits and services. The tool will pull together a list of benefits an individual may be eligible for and connect them directly through to an application without having to navigate through government information or websites.


Other government supported initiatives for hardship include:

Each of these support services have their own eligibility criteria your employees would need to meet, to qualify.

Non-financial support, help and advice


There are many organisations across New Zealand that provide free budgeting advice and support, or that offer services to alleviate day-to-day costs, such as food banks. Share these resources with your employees, so they can figure out which options work best for them. 


  • Live Sorted provides free resources on topics such as dealing with rising mortgage rates, managing their power bill, and finding the right financial advisor. It also has tools for setting goals, calculating debt, and budgeting. 
  • Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) has a number of free resources advice, including a list of non-profit organisations that help with budgeting. CAB can also help people find the best services for them.
  • If your employees express anxiety, stress, or other challenges linked to their finances, the Mental Health Foundation has resources and support that can help.
  • The Salvation Army offers budgeting advice, plus food and clothing assistance.
  • Money Talks is a free financial helpline that connects people with local food banks, helps them navigate Work and Income processes, and supports people with managing their money. 

Many local communities will have organisations and resources to help people facing financial stresses. A local search of your community will help identify support close to home.

ASB Financial Wellbeing Workshops


If you have a number of employees you want to help, ASB can run in-person or virtual workshops for your workplace. ASB Financial Wellbeing Workshops are free and focus on the actions people can take to build positive money habits, take the stress out of managing money day-to-day and help people feel confident about making good financial decisions.


Send an email to our friendly workshop team at They'll help you help your employee's experiencing hardship.

What you can do to help


There are steps you can take to help your employees, many of which will help your business as well. For example, offering financial incentives at work, such as performance bonuses, profit sharing, or merit-based raises, can be a powerful motivator and give your employees the financial bump they need to alleviate financial stress. Covering certain business-related expenses, such as internet fees for remote work or paying for a portion of their cell phone bill, can directly reduce their out-of-pocket costs. 


Other examples include:

  • Offering flexible work arrangements like job sharing or telecommuting to enable your employees to balance work/life. By working from home, for example, they may reduce the costs of commuting and free up time to take on a part-time job or undergo professional development. 
  • Supplementary income opportunities within your business provide another valuable strategy. You can cross-train employees to take on different roles, which could enable them to increase their earnings in a new position and build new skills.  
  • A salary advance could be a viable short-term solution in a time of extreme hardship where an employee faces an immediate financial crisis, or needs funding for a one-off expenditure. 
  • Offering childcare or travel subsidies may help your employees save crucial funds. 
  • Facilitate workshops or training sessions on budgeting and debt management strategies.

As an employer, it's important to create a supportive work environment that shows you understand their challenges and are willing to assist in practical ways that will ultimately help. Peer-to-peer support and a culture of open communication can encourage employees to seek help when they need it. Mentorship programs or support groups offer an opportunity to share experiences, offer advice, and provide moral support.

In summary and how ASB can help

  • Meet with your employees to identify their challenges and what may help. You may need to assist employees on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Decide whats appropriate for you as a business to do to help and implement.
  • At ASB we have a Financial Assistance team to help if things are really tough. Find out more here.
  • Send employees the link to our Support Finder Tool.
  • You can get in touch on 0800 27 27 35, option 3. We're here for you from 8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. Or you can email

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