Prezzo is now offering income streaming to its 3,000 employees to enable early access to furlough pay amid the ongoing pandemic.
The income streaming will allow workers early access to accrued pay, and provider Wagestream has also extended its service to cover furlough pay from the government during the crisis.
The Italian restaurant chain made the move in its efforts to “help staff cope with any unplanned expenses and relieve the additional financial pressure the coronavirus crisis is placing on many UK households”.
Prezzo “saw the value” of expanding income streaming through Wagestream’s new solution, which pays furloughed workers 50% of their accrued ‘furloughed pay’ on demand. The income streaming scheme was previously available to a third of the company’s staff, but is now available to all employees.
Wagestream, in partnership with Fourth, allows staff to draw down, or ‘income stream’, a percentage of their earned wages for a flat £1.75 fee, without impacting the cash flow of employers. No loans involved and therefore no interest is charged.
The platform works alongside businesses across the leisure, pub, bar and restaurant sector, and has now made its income streaming service free to the NHS and its staff.
It has also introduced a fast-track on-boarding process for new clients, so that any employer can launch the service for its staff within 24 hours, as opposed to three weeks.
The group is also producing a webinar to teach workers how to look after their money, and has built an online resource hub that “identifies what information and entitlements are relevant to them”.
Peter Briffett, CEO and co-founder of Wagestream, said: “Companies concerned about the impact of the pandemic on the financial health of their staff are contacting us every day to ask how quickly this furlough solution can be bolted on to their payroll systems.
“A great many employees will have partners who have lost their jobs, lost income or been effectively locked out of the government’s furlough scheme altogether if they are recently self-employed or their employer has decided to make them redundant instead.”
He added: “We’re pleased that our service is useful at a time like this and we will continue to look for ways to help UK businesses affected by the pandemic.”
Jacqueline Rouse, people director at Prezzo UK, said: “We are currently doing everything we can during these difficult times to support our Prezzo people whilst they are furloughed.
“Wagestream is a really great way of being able to provide that support by giving our people access to their pay earlier than they would otherwise receive it and helping to ease their money worries as much as possible.”