Coronavirus  

Robo offers free advice to SME employees hit by crisis

Robo offers free advice to SME employees hit by crisis

Roboadviser Open Money has launched an employee benefit platform which will offer free financial advice to employees of small and medium sized companies for the remainder of 2020.

The Work Life platform went live today (June 25) and is intended to offer employees of smaller companies access to advice in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The service is being offered free of charge to SMEs for the rest of the year, waiving the usual cost of £2 per employee per month. 

Open Money warned the need for financial advice had "arguably never been greater" with the latest coronavirus statistics released by HM Revenue and Customs showing more than nine million jobs have been furloughed amid the crisis. 

Anthony Morrow, founder and chief executive of Open Money, warned workers had been "poorly served" by "traditional financial services companies" during the crisis.

Mr Morrow said: "Small companies and their employees are the nation’s engine room and its lifeblood and without their hard work and earnings the economy has ground to a halt.

"These workers deserve to be looked after, especially when so many have been furloughed and are facing money worries. 

"It can be difficult to know where to turn to for advice on financial matters, so with the WorkLife platform we are finally giving smaller companies the tools they need to offer their employees this vital support."

Work Life will be available online and can be linked to payroll data and workplace pensions. 

Data published by HMRC in April found a record 348,000 savers made withdrawals from their pension in the first quarter of this year - with the average value steadily rising.

Robert Marshall, managing director of Work Life, said: "Most employee benefits providers usually focus on big companies where they can turn a buck because of the size and sheer numbers of staff.

"They’ve ignored the SME sector because a company with 50 employees isn’t profitable enough for them.

"With WorkLife we are blowing that assumption out of the water and helping to empower employers at a time when they and their staff need it most." 

rachel.mortimer@ft.com

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