Financial stress could see workers back at work despite feeling sick: Survey

'Developing strategies to help Canadians manage stress should be part of broader strategy for economic recovery'

Financial stress could see workers back at work despite feeling sick: Survey
One-third of working Canadians are worried about losing their job, finds a survey.

More than half (55 per cent) of working Canadians are concerned about the country’s employment situation and one in three are fearful of losing their job due to COVID-19, according to a survey from the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA).

More than half (54 per cent) say that their company has been seriously impacted economically by COVID-19.

And as workplaces begin to open, fear of losing their job may cause one in five to go to the office even when they are coughing, sneezing and feeling sick, found the survey of 4,264 respondents between May 26 and July 3, 2020.

Nearly six in 10 (58 per cent) of working Canadians say that they are more financially stressed because of the COVID-19 pandemic

Sixty per cent of workers say they are worried about the Canadian economy -- the highest rate in five years and up 46 per cent from 2019.

“The repercussions of the pandemic continue to threaten our country’s return to stability,” says Peter Tzanetakis, president of the CPA. “Recognizing that financial stress already costs Canadian businesses billions of dollars, developing strategies to help Canadians decrease or manage that stress should be a part of our broader strategy for economic recovery.”

COVID-19 is causing an economic crisis for many Canadian families, and nearly 30 per cent are reporting extreme stress, according to an earlier survey from financial technology firm Borrowell.

Money matters more than health, relationships
Canadians in general are stressing over money (38 per cent) more than personal health (25 per cent), work (21 per cent) and relationships (16 per cent), according to a survey released by FP Canada.

Common effects felt by those experiencing financial stress include:

  • health issues (18 per cent)
  • relationship problems (15 per cent)
  • reduced productivity (14 per cent) 
  • family disputes (13 per cent)
  • substance abuse/mental health issues (10 per cent)

“Money is interconnected with many aspects of our lives such as personal health, relationships and work. That can lead to a vicious cycle or a virtuous cycle in terms of the actions people might take,” says Moira Somers, a clinical neuropsychologist specializing in mental and financial well-being. “For example, when people address relationship issues or mental health challenges, they often become more confident and more positively engaged with their financial lives.”

Even before the pandemic, people with healthy incomes were stressed about their financial fitness, according to an earlier study from the CPA and the Western-Laurier Financial Data Analytics Laboratory (The Western-Laurier Lab).

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