FairQuid, a new employee benefit loan scheme which promotes employees’ financial wellbeing, has recently exited its trial period and been officially released to the Lancashire business community.
Initially launched and trialled at 645-strong Darwen based manufacturing company WEC Group Ltd, the scheme aims to improve employee engagement and retention by offering access to low cost borrowing and improved money management practices through the use of local community Credit Unions.
Challenged with a high staff turnover (>20% p.a), WEC Group Commercial Director Wayne Wild was looking for an employee benefit that would attract and retain talent. He was convinced that Credit Union membership could be a huge benefit for his employees, so he worked with the Jubilee Tower Credit Union in Darwen (who were recently awarded the Publisher’s Award at the Red Rose Awards 2016) and became co-founder of FairQuid as a solution.
Within one year of implementation at WEC Group, FairQuid achieved its goal of improving staff retention well above expectations. Over 130 employees joined the scheme within the first few monthsand over £140,000 of high interest debts have been refinanced through Jubilee Tower Credit Union.
Staff turnover dropped to under 4% for those taking advantage of the scheme, saving the business over £240,000 in recruitment and associated staff replacement costs.
As a simple, fair, and responsible framework, employees can apply for a short term loan from their local credit union through an online platformprovided by FairQuid. Criteria is based around their salary, service level and employee record, and a maximum of 20% of an employee’s annual salary is the loan value which can be applied for. Repayments are automatically deducted from the employees wage within a set period of a maximum of 24 months meaning no payments can be missed.
The success of the scheme is mostly due to the fact that FairQuid encourages a responsible pay back method with set repayments through payroll deductions. No roll over borrowing is possible in accordance with the ethical rules of Credit Unions, which are not-for-profit organisations operating savings and loans accounts for their members.
Wayne commented: “It’s a win-win-win. The employer wins by saving on retention and recruitment, and staff win with access to low-cost borrowing and improved sense of money management.”
FairQuid also offers many benefits to Credit Unions as it helps them acquire new members, increases fund development and improves their portfolio quality. In addition, it enables employers to improve productivity and decrease staff turnover, which on average costs companies 4% of their bottom line.
Wayne Wild continues: “All loans are provided by the local credit unions and repayments are made through payroll deductions, meaning there is no strain on your company’s cash flow. We have no liability for the loans which makes it a great staff benefit for WEC Group at absolutely no cost to us.”
Following its success, FairQuid was officially released to other North West businesses at a recent Lancashire HR Employers Forum in Preston with strong interest recorded on the day. The company is now actively promoting the scheme to other organisations who are interested in helping employees improve their financial wellbeing.
A number of Credit Unions in Lancashire, Cheshire and Yorkshire have already joined the scheme, enabling FairQuid to increase their catchment area further. Discussions are already in place with other credit unions and employers nationally.