Australians are taking increasingly desperate measures just to put food on the table amid the crippling cost of living crisis.
A growing number of Aussies are being forced to apply for early access to their wages so they can pay the ever increasing cost of groceries, according to Paytime, a site providing workers access to their earned wages.
Fresh data from the site has revealed that more than half of the people using it have been doing so just to pay for food.
“Increasing rates always put extra financial strain on families and individuals and we’ve noticed a big spike in people wanting to access their wages early to alleviate the stress,” Paytime CEO Steven Furman said.
“With the current cost of living impacting everyone, making workers wait a fortnight or even a week to be paid is causing financial stress across all pay packets.”
A striking 52 per cent of workers that used the site indicated they had to just so they could affordgroceries, which was a higher portion than those who needed quick cash for unexpected expenses like medical bills or car repairs.
Meanwhile, more than 92 per cent of employees blamed soaring costs of living on needing early access to funds, according to the latest data.
A smaller portion, 36 per cent, sought early pay for household bills like electricity and gas, while 28 per cent used the site to access money for petrol.
Bridging the gap between bills and payday for people paid fortnightly had become a significant struggle for 52.7 per cent of people, the data revealed.
“Eighty eight per cent of users say being able to access their own earned wages helps them avoid other forms of credit like payday loans, on-demand pay app solutions (who are all loans to the user), and even buy now pay later (BNPL) schemes,” Mr Furman said.
An enormous 95 per cent of Paytime’s users have signed up in the past six months as the cost of living has dramatically inclined.
A host of Australian employers have even started offering workers the option to be paid their wages before payday, including Pizza Hut and Supabarn Supermarkets.
McGrath Estate Agents, Hungry Jacks and Aspen Pharmacare were among other companies giving employees the option.
Earned wage access has already become popular overseas with US companies including PayPal, Walmart, McDonalds, Uber, Hilton and Unilever providing their own schemes.
Earned wage access was also being provided to employees at 80 per cent of Fortune 200 companies.
In the UK, doctors, nurses and health workers are also provided access to their earned wages under the publicly-funded health care system, with Bupa in the UK also offering it to staff.
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