Empowerment at Work: Payroll and Period Poverty

Period poverty, the lack of access to menstrual products and healthcare during menstruation, is a deeply concerning issue that affects millions of women in South Africa. However, what often goes unnoticed is the significant role mid-month cashflow constraints play in exacerbating period poverty for female employees. By re-thinking payroll practices, employers can make a profound impact in addressing this issue and supporting their female workforce.

The Link between Mid-Month Cashflow Constraints and Period Poverty

1. Financial Strain: Mid-month cashflow issues can result from various factors, such as irregular pay schedules or unforeseen expenses, leaving female employees financially constrained. The lack of disposable income during this period makes it challenging for them to afford menstrual products.

2. Health and Well-being: When women face financial constraints during menstruation, they may resort to using inadequate or unhygienic alternatives, jeopardising their menstrual health and overall well-being.

3. Absenteeism and Reduced Productivity: The anxiety and discomfort associated with period poverty may lead to increased absenteeism as female employees struggle to attend work during menstruation. This absenteeism can impact workplace productivity and team dynamics.

Why Employers Should Re-think Payroll Practices

1. Earned Wage Access: Implementing earned wage access (EWA) as part of payroll practices can offer a solution to mid-month cashflow issues. EWA allows employees to access a portion of their earned wages before the traditional payday, providing them with the financial flexibility needed to manage their expenses, including purchasing menstrual products.

2. Promoting Gender Equality: By addressing period poverty through reformed payroll practices, employers can demonstrate their commitment to gender equality and fostering an inclusive work environment where all employees feel supported and valued.

3. Enhanced Employee Well-being: Providing female employees with the means to pay for proper feminine hygiene products when they need it - through benefits such as EWA - has a profound effect on their overall well-being. By easing financial stress and reducing the anxiety that arises from not being able to access essential menstrual products, employees may experience improved mental health and job satisfaction. This newfound peace of mind can translate into heightened productivity and a deeper commitment to their work, fostering a more content and dedicated workforce. When employees are supported in managing their menstrual health, they can fully focus on their professional responsibilities, creating a positive and thriving work environment.

4. Reduced Absenteeism: Providing timely access to earned wages through EWA can help reduce absenteeism related to period poverty. Female employees can better manage their menstrual health and attend work consistently, contributing to a more stable and productive workforce.

Mid-month cashflow issues for female employees are a significant contributor to period poverty, impacting women's health, productivity, and overall well-being. Employers have the power to address this issue and support their female workforce by rethinking payroll practices. By implementing earned wage access and providing employees with the means to access their earned wages when needed, employers can make a profound difference in combating period poverty and promoting gender equality. As we re-imagine payroll practices, we create a more supportive and inclusive work environment where women can thrive without the burden of period poverty. By prioritising the menstrual health and well-being of our female employees, we take a step towards a brighter future that empowers women, fosters a stronger workforce, and promotes a more equitable society for all.

Understanding Employees' 'Money Scripts': Transforming Benefits for Meaningful Impact

In today's fast-paced and competitive work environment, employers are constantly seeking innovative ways to attract and retain talent at all levels within the business. While traditional employee benefits like healthcare and retirement plans remain essential, forward-thinking companies are recognising the significance of understanding their employees' 'money scripts'. By delving into these deeply ingrained beliefs and attitudes towards money, employers can implement benefits that truly resonate, fostering a culture of financial well-being and elevating the overall employee experience.

What are Money Scripts?

To truly grasp the power of understanding employees' 'money scripts', we turn to the pioneering work of renowned financial psychologist Brad Klontz. Klontz emphasises that money scripts are deeply ingrained beliefs and behaviours individuals develop about money, influenced by their personal experiences, cultural backgrounds, and upbringing. These scripts play a profound role in shaping individuals' financial attitudes and actions, impacting everything from spending habits to financial goals. By delving into the unique money scripts of employees, employers gain invaluable insights into their workforce's financial mindset, paving the way for the implementation of customised and impactful employee benefits.

Enhancing Employee Benefits

1. Tailored Financial Education: By comprehending their employees' 'money scripts', employers can design targeted financial education programs that address specific needs. For example, if employees tend to prioritize short-term gratification over long-term planning, workshops on budgeting and saving for future goals can empower them to make informed financial decisions.

2. Flexible Compensation Packages: Recognising that employees have different financial priorities, employers can offer flexible compensation packages that cater to individual needs. This may include options for earned wage access, paycheck-linked short-term savings, bonuses, or additional benefits like student loan assistance or childcare subsidies. Such flexibility acknowledges the diverse money scripts within the workforce, promoting financial stability and overall satisfaction.

3. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs): EAPs that include financial counselling services can provide employees with personalised guidance to navigate financial challenges. Understanding an employee's 'money script' can help counsellors identify underlying beliefs that may hinder financial well-being, enabling them to provide tailored support and resources.

4. Rewarding Long-Term Financial Goals: Employees who envision financial security in the distant future can be motivated through benefits that align with their aspirations. Offering employer-matched retirement plans, stock options, or investment programs demonstrates a commitment to employees' long-term financial success, encouraging loyalty and productivity.

Investing in understanding employees' 'money scripts' is a game-changer for employers looking to create meaningful and impactful employee benefits. By acknowledging and addressing these deeply ingrained beliefs, organisations can foster a culture of financial well-being, enhance employee satisfaction, and increase productivity. By offering tailored financial education, flexible compensation packages, EAPs, and rewards for long-term goals, employers demonstrate their commitment to their employees' financial success. Embracing a holistic approach to employee benefits can transform the workplace, fostering a healthier and more productive workforce in the process.

How communication and connection elevate the employee experience and drive business success

For employers and HR departments, keeping dispersed employees informed, engaged, motivated, and productive is complicated and costly – but critical – for the business's success. 

Getting teams to communicate and collaborate is also challenging when they’re all in different locations.

The key to effectively engaging a dispersed workforce or ‘deskless employees’ is to meet them where they’re already actively engaged. Floatpays Employee Connect is an engagement tool that allows employers to communicate with everyone on their payroll via WhatsApp –  the widely used and often preferred messaging app. 

The importance of effective employee communication and connection

Before we explore ways to use Floatpays Employee Connect to engage your employees via WhatsApp, consider these benefits of effective internal communication:

According to Pumble, 86% of employees and executives say that ineffective communication and collaboration are leading causes of workplace challenges. However, research also reveals that effective communication can increase workforce productivity by 25%.

Studies show that engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their employer. When

you communicate with your employees regularly and consistently, they feel more connected and willing to collaborate with you and their team.

When employees feel equipped with the information necessary to do their jobs effectively, they have direction and focus and are more likely to feel a sense of purpose and value in the role they play within the company. 

Communication between leaders and employees doesn’t just keep everyone in the loop; it also makes employees feel noticed and appreciated. This ultimately drives better results and elevates the company culture.

How to use Floatpays Employee Connect to elevate the employee experience

Instant messaging is wildly successful in customer service and personal communication, and it offers a variety of use cases for internal engagement.

Here are a few ways you can use Floatpays Employee Connect to communicate with your


Employee Connect lets you engage with your employees quickly, effectively, and efficiently

using a single, simple platform. Instantly share important information, communicate in a

crisis, or deliver digital payslips to employees through a familiar and convenient messaging platform to enhance connection and communication within your organisation.

Time to get future-fit: How to make your EVP attractive to the youth

The youth of today are your workforce of tomorrow. Attracting, engaging, and retaining this workforce will require an understanding of what it is that they value in terms of their working life, and how you can stimulate a positive sentiment about their work environment.

Businesses put a lot of focus on catering for Generation Z, the ‘digital natives’ born at the turn of the century who are entering the workforce in greater numbers. The eldest of this generation are approaching age 25, with many having graduated from college or university, getting married, and starting families.

Yet, just as businesses get to grips with the needs of Gen Z, researchers are starting to talk about Generation Alpha. Born between 2010 and 2025, Generation Alpha are not only digitally-savvy – they’re immersed in technology. And although they’re still young, they will eventually become the largest and wealthiest generation in history, the most educated, and they will be highly social and mobile. They’ll also have shorter attention spans, get bored quickly, and live with their parents for longer than generations that preceded them.

A future-fit employee value proposition (EVP) should create a remarkably human-centric experience that understands what matters most to the current and next generation of employees.

The youth of today expect more than money from their employers. In fact, they’ve been dubbed the generation that values purpose over profit. So, what do they want? 

Understanding young people’s attitudes towards work

There’s plenty of evidence supporting the benefits of hiring youth, yet Floatpays research found that only 38% of young people rate their work environment positively.

For them, a happy workplace:

The fact that nearly two-thirds of young people rate their working environment as mediocre – at best – highlights a business risk when it comes to attracting, retaining, and engaging young people at work.

That said, the research also revealed a major gap (and therefore opportunity) in how employers can support improving their young employees’ wellbeing - a gap that if closed, can enable employers to attract, retain, and engage young people at work. And that gap is mental health support.

Supporting employee mental wellbeing by reducing financial stress

Mental health is amongst the top 5 concerns for Gen Z, which is no surprise given that one global study found 46% of Gen Zs say they are stressed or anxious all or most of the time. Negative working environments can create and/or worsen mental health problems and when one considers how much of people’s lives are spent working, the workplace becomes a crucial space in which to positively support peoples’  mental health.

Floatpays research found that financial stress in particular is a major driver of poor mental health.  Building financial wellness reduces financial stress. The Floatpays State of Employee Wellbeing Barometer revealed that for young people alleviating financial stress means:

Employers would do well to focus employee wellbeing Initiatives that support their young workforce in the above mentioned areas as the overwhelming majority of young respondents stated that having their employer’s support in building their financial wellbeing would:

Young people entering the workforce today will drive the future success or failure of the businesses they work for. Employers need to focus on building financial wellbeing as part of a broader focus on mental health if they are to effectively future-proof their employee value proposition and ensure success. 

Impactful employee wellness programmes must consider workplace diversity

Floatpays recently conducted research into the ‘State of Employee Wellbeing in South Africa’ – an annual study intended to help businesses improve labour productivity by building better employee wellbeing programmes (EWPs).

Among other key insights, the research made clear the need to consider cultural and gender nuances and sensitives in the development of effective EWPs. These findings also reinforce the work of driving DEI in the workplace.

The impact of DEI on individual and business wellbeing

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are the key ingredients of a fair, comfortable, and prosperous working environment.

According to Deloitte, organisations that prioritise DEI are six times more likely to be innovative and anticipate change and twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets. That’s because DEI enhances employee engagement, increases organisational agility, and improves the employer’s ability to acquire talent.

Considerations for a culturally-sensitive EWP

Employee wellbeing programmes are designed to give employees the knowledge, skills, and support they need to take care of their physical, mental, financial, and emotional health. In this way, EWPs help to create a positive work environment where employees are fully present and productive.

Floatpays’ research deep dived into the financial dimension of employee wellbeing. The research highlighted important cultural and gender considerations for making a sustainable impact on employees’ financial wellbeing through EWPs. These included:

Black tax

‘Black Tax’ came up within the top 5 factors contributing to employees’ financial stress. ‘Black Tax’ is a colloquialism for the  long-term commitment, communal obligation, and continual support that Black South Africans provide to their immediate and extended families. These commitments may include improving one’s parent’s home/dwelling, funding a younger sibling's education, or paying for basic living expenses of unemployed family members. 

The gender lens 

With 37,9% of the households in South Africa headed by females, it is unsurprising that Floatpays’ research shows that for women, the factors driving financial stress are skewed toward typical caretaking responsibilities such as household expenses (57% compared to 49% for men) and food (52% compared to 42% for men). Nearly all (89%) female respondents want to learn how to manage their money better, with 67% of females (versus 58% of males) describing financial wellbeing as the ability to manage within a budget.

Different strokes for different folks

The importance of culture- and gender-informed EWPs in a diverse workplace cannot be underestimated. Understanding employee needs that may be driven by cultural and/or gender specific influences is foundational to developing EWPs that are inclusive, impactful and ultimately help drive business growth.

If employers want to improve the wellbeing of their employees, they must ensure that employees from all walks of life feel like they belong – because high performing teams are ‘high belonging teams’.

Money on their minds - why your employees can’t focus and how you can help

The majority of the South African workforce operates in a permanent state of fight or flight. With 75% of their salaries going to debt repayments, South Africans have little money left to cover monthly living expenses – and very often, none left for emergencies.

Dealing with this level of stress puts the brain in emergency mode – all the time – and it’s not good. The constant release of adrenaline and cortisol (the stress hormone) severely impacts peoples’ well-being: their brains and bodies literally behave as if their survival is at risk.

Money on the mind

When they’re worried about how they’re going to pay school fees, the electricity being cut off, or having an asset repossessed, employees find it difficult to concentrate, remember things, pay attention, or solve problems. And to think, many of them operate heavy machinery, perform complicated tasks, and handle sensitive company information.

In dealing with financial crisis after financial crisis, their “bandwidth taxes” increase, and their mental resources are sapped. They develop debt stress syndrome, which could manifest in obvious ways, such as lack of sleep, loss of appetite, depression, and mood swings.

Or it could have more severe consequences on the brain and body, including:

Being unable to manage their debt also impairs employees’ psychological functioning and decision-making. It consumes their thoughts and undermines their ability to think clearly.

To counteract the adrenaline, they might seek hits of dopamine (the feel-good hormone) in unhealthy places, like alcohol, drugs, or food. Or they could indulge in other ways, like payday spending sprees that result in impulse purchases, buyer’s remorse, and another long stretch to payday. To make ends meet, they might take out payday loans or other lines of ‘easy credit', which traps them in the debt cycle through high interest rates, late fees, and the need to take out new loans to cover existing ones. Once they’re in the debt trap, it’s nearly impossible to get out.

Yet, although most people suffer from debt stress syndrome, no one speaks about the emotional and psychological toll of debt – or the powerful mental and physical health benefits of getting out of debt. One way to solve some of the problems is by giving your employees early access to their earned pay – with no cost and minimal effort on your part.

If an employee can access a portion of their earned income – money they’ve technically already worked for – to pay for necessities instead of turning to credit, they reduce the amount of money they spend on servicing debt and can use it for living expenses instead. 

The powerful effects of debt relief on the brain

Research shows that when employees are paid more frequently – biweekly as opposed to monthly, for example – they can cover expenses faster and get ahead in paying off loans. They reported feeling less stressed and anxious, and the employer benefited from increased productivity, fewer mistakes, and higher work quality.

Paying off debt not only feels good; it can also lead to physical healing. With a weight off their minds and shoulders, employees have more time to think. They can focus on the task at hand, they learn faster, and their cognitive functioning improves. Lower debt means less stress, restored self-esteem, financial empowerment, and improved personal relationships.

In a word, they’re happier.

Paying off debt can also help your employees stay financially solvent. Over time, they can develop the discipline to keep their finances in check, and it becomes easier to make wise decisions about saving, spending, and tackling debt.

Move your employees from debt to a savings snowball

Floatpays helps your employees take those all-important first steps in moving from debt to savings. Instead of turning to credit, your employees get on-demand access to a portion of their earned pay whenever they need it to cover unplanned expenses and to manage their cash flow better. In not forcing employees to wait until payday to access what’s due to them, you free up mental bandwidth for them to do their best work. And that should be the goal of any employee wellbeing programme.

Why financial wellness should be an integral part of employee wellbeing programmes

South Africans are stressed and financially pressed. Research found that 54% of South Africans are unable to make their money stretch to month-end, and 57% say financial stress has significantly impacted their mental wellbeing. Financial stress is a known cause of depression and other health problems, such as the increased risk of heart attacks, hypertension, and panic attacks. The immediate risks to businesses include absenteeism, decreased productivity, and a lack of engagement – because stressed employees don’t leave their baggage at the office door.

According to the World Economic Forum, poor mental health costs $1 trillion in lost productivity every year, and Alexander Forbes’ Benefits Barometer notes that businesses lose an estimated R40 billion in earnings - or 2.2% of GDP - due to the impact of depression on the workforce.

On-demand access to pay as a solution to financial stress

Floatpays is an on-demand access to pay platform that lets your employees access a portion of their accrued earnings any time during a pay cycle. That’s right—no more sweating through the mid-month slump for employees. No more manually fielding requests for salary advances or employee loans.

Using Floatpays, your employees can draw down on a portion of their accrued pay whenever they need to – with no extra effort or cost on the business’s part. In fact, Floatpays reduces payroll admin by essentially turning employee pay into a self-service function. Employees are charged a low fee for withdrawals – or you can choose to sponsor this cost.

The 4 dimensions of financial wellness

Employees suffering extreme financial stress need support to build financial wellness. Here are four ways that you can empower your people with Floatpays:

Help employees achieve a manageable level of debt – or none at all

More than half of middle-income earners in South Africa spend their salary within five days of receiving it – and between 41% and 100% of their money goes towards paying off monthly debt. When unexpected expenses hit, employees often turn to payday lenders or loan sharks to get through the month. Floatpays is designed to give people an alternative to debt while encouraging them to save for emergencies. Instead of taking out a loan, your employees get on-demand access to a portion of their accrued pay to cover unplanned expenses. They can also use their accrued income to buy fee-free vouchers for essentials such as prepaid electricity, data and airtime, and medical care. 

The percentage of accrued pay available to employees is capped, as determined by the employer, to prevent overspending and over-reliance on earned wage access. 

Help employees financially prepare for an emergency

Geysers burst. Kids lose their school shoes. Medical emergencies happen. Life doesn’t always go to plan. Floatpays helps your employees prepare for unexpected expenses, reducing the need to use costly credit between pay cycles.

What’s more, Floatpays is the only on-demand access to pay provider that offers an interest-bearing savings account, powered by Standard Bank. Employees earn 4% interest* per annum on their investment, which helps them build a financial safety net that prevents them from falling into a debt trap. (*Interest rate correct at time of publication and subject to change)

Teach effective money management

Floatpays provides employees with financial tools and education designed by learning and development specialists to help them better manage their money and make lasting changes to their financial habits. Knowing how to create and stick to a budget, for example, is a critical life skill that sheds light on spending habits and ensures employees don’t spend money they don’t have.

The budgeting tool from Floatpays puts powerful financial insights into your employees’ hands. From within the app, they can track income and expenses, create a budget, allocate funds for upcoming expenses, and save for rainy days. The more they use it, the more entrenched the behavior becomes - when you know better, you do better.

Help employees achieve a manageable level of finance-related stress

Fostering financial wellbeing in the workplace can lead to a host of advantages, including increased employee productivity and performance, improved employee physical and mental health, recruitment and retention of the best people, and overall workforce morale and loyalty.

In being able to access their pay on demand, 96% of Wellness Warehouse employees said their quality of life improved and 77% reported little to no financial stress after using Floatpays. What’s more, 36% did not need to resort to loans, 23% relied less on credit, and 32% did not need to use overdraft facilities. Almost all felt more in control of their finances and found it easier to plan.

On-demand access to pay represents a significant shift in how employees are paid. Having instant, 24/7 access to their money is becoming a fundamental employee value proposition, but traditional payroll practices must evolve to meet this demand.

Employers have a crucial role to play in the financial wellness of their employees. By offering them on-demand access to pay, paycheque linked savings and financial education, you can create a healthy, happy, and productive workforce that drives business success.