Care workers across the UK are being given free instant access to their earnings in a bid to help the country navigate the coronavirus pandemic.
Income streaming provider Wagestream has waived all fees to care agencies and their staff, as well as NHS trusts and their employees, to allow as many care workers as possible to get hold of their pay when they need it.
Peter Briffett, CEO and co-founder of Wagestream, commented: “We’ve all got to do our bit during this crisis, and we find ourselves able to provide healthcare workers and employers with a service that is a uniquely invaluable weapon right now.
“Everybody faces unbearable uncertainty at the moment and this misery will be compounded by unexpected expenses. We’re waiving all fees to ensure these vital workers can get at their pay when they need it.
The Wagestream app allows providers’ employees to draw down a percentage of their wage as they earn it, rather than waiting until the end of the month.
Thousands of doctors, nurses and care workers are using the app – current clients include Somerset Care and Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.
Somerset Care went live with the app in August after seeing that income streaming helped recruit and retain workers, and improved the financial well-being of its employees.
It usually takes Wagestream three weeks to perform a full integration with an employer’s payroll software, but as part of emergency measures the firm can now launch the service for any employer in 24 hours.
And as part of Wagestream’s package of special measures, providers can give workers access to an immediate relief fund specified by them.
Caps usually apply to the percentage of earned pay that staff are allowed to draw down but, during the crisis, any shift tagged as related to Covid-19 on the Wagestream portal will be automatically eligible for fast, same-day payment of 80% of money earned once that shift ends.
Wagestream said this will help prevent labour shortages by helping key workers deal with extra expenses they may face by working additional shifts.
The platform will also facilitate automated daily payment of statutory sick pay where providers upload the names of those employees who are unwell and self-isolating.
In the last week, Wagestream has seen many employers remove caps on the number of times their staff can use Wagestream in a single month.