HR MythBusters: Why Earned Wage Access is Easy to Offer
Human Resources departments have had a lot on our plates over the last year and a half. Now, as we navigate bringing employees back into the workplace, we’re also seeking ways to attract and retain talent.
From New Benefits’ own experience, financial wellness is currently at the top of prospective hires’ wish lists, including an emerging solution in earned wage access. Also referred to as on-demand pay or instant pay, earned wage access enables employees to withdraw already earned funds before payday.
While earned wage access has received a lot of buzz, HR departments have hesitated to take the plunge. There are many unknowns and myths with this new solution, including the administrative burden and liability.
New Benefits has our own earned wage access benefit: My Instant Pay, powered by Rain Instant Pay. Not only do we sell this solution to our clients, we also use it for our own employees. As the HR Director for New Benefits, I know first-hand how easy it is to implement and promote My Instant Pay.
To alleviate your hesitations, I have busted the myths surrounding earned wage access.
HR MythBusters: Earned Wage Access Edition
Myth: Earned wage access will be just one more task to own and to track for payroll.
Truth: All HR needs to do is fill out a simple form to implement My Instant Pay. Rain takes care of the rest: initiating communication with the payroll company (in our case, Netchex), ensuring any necessary payroll code is set up, completing implementation, and even providing marketing materials to educate employees.
Myth: Earned wage access will not be compatible with our payroll system.
Truth: Rain is compatible with an extensive list of payroll systems, and if your payroll system is not on their list, Rain will make the effort to establish a relationship. Rain also handles the payroll system integration, and instructs HR on any steps they will need to take (if any) to implement the My Instant Pay benefit for use.
Myth: We will be liable if we advance the employee’s payroll before they are paid and then the employee terminates.
Truth: Rain actually takes on the liability and responsibility so the employer will not suffer any loss, therefore there is no financial risk for employers.
Myth: It will be challenging to educate employees on earned wage access.
Truth: My Instant Pay is really simple to use for both the employee and employer, and one of the best parts is Rain provides employee education through engaging emails and other marketing materials, with really quick steps to get started! Once employees are aware of the benefit, they just need to download the My Benefits Work mobile app, tap My Instant Pay, and follow the instructions to request their pay advance.
Myth: My HR department will still have to field a million questions about earned wage access.
Truth: You don’t have to! Rain has a customer service line to directly handle employees’ questions about the app or withdrawing funds. There is also an account administrator assigned to each employer if you have any questions as well.
Feedback from an HR Perspective
Here is my general position on My Instant Pay: It is extremely beneficial to employees, and it positions you as an employer of choice. Employees are able to access the funds they need, which they’ve already earned, as many times as they need it, without the embarrassment of approaching their employer directly when in financial hardship. Employers are able to confidentially assist employees with financial stress while reducing overdraft fees and payday loans, with very little effort or impact on their end.
From an HR perspective, I love My Instant Pay because it sets our employees up for better financial wellness. As an employee, I love how easy My Instant Pay is to use, and how secure I feel knowing it’s available to me if I need it.