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Blue Monday is renowned for being one of the most depressing days of the year. The weather is miserable, and consumers face the harsh reality that what they have borrowed must be repaid, and with interest. 

As debt charities anticipate a surge in calls from worried borrowers, it is hard to not feel that this issue could be easily avoided. In fact, many would argue that the problem can be reduced through simple measures. 

UNLEASH caught up with experts in earned wage access (EWA) to find out if companies have a role to play and whether giving employees access to funds earned earlier could help avoid panicked calls to debt charities. 

About 54% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Even employees who do not report officially living paycheck to paycheck feel frequently pressured to make ends meet. 

Given that many employers are continuing to struggle to retain and attract staff amidst the “Great Resignation,” EWA could have a positive impact. There are benefits to flexible payments and given that very few parts of consumer life now follow a monthly schedule it is understandable that there is a push for this kind of change.  

EWA has real benefits for employees and is not an added burden for HR teams. So, the only question that remains is whether Blue Monday should be a catalyst for change? 

Steve Tonks, SVP EMEA at WorkForce Software says, “An earned wage access (EWA) payroll scheme is particularly important for supporting low-income earners by providing them with access to wages before payday.” 

“With a third of low-income households struggling to pay bills every month, EWA ensures that workers can better manage their cash flow if a sudden bill arrives and avoid high-interest payday loans.”