Prezzo restaurant chain staff get early access to furlough pay

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Italian restaurant chain Prezzo is now offering income streaming to all of the company’s 3,000 staff to help them access their furlough pay early during the pandemic. 

Income streaming gives workers early access to their accrued pay when they need it and provider Wagestream has extended its service to cover furlough pay from the Government during the crisis. 

The restaurant chain has chosen to make income streaming available across the business to help staff cope with any unplanned expenses and relieve the additional financial pressure the coronavirus crisis is placing on many UK households.

Wagestream’s new solution designed for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme means it will pay furloughed workers 50% of their accrued ‘furloughed pay’ on demand. Prezzo saw the value of expanding income streaming so all staff could take advantage of this. Income streaming was previously available to a third of the company’s staff, all occupying front of house roles.

Wagestream — in partnership with Fourth — allows staff to draw down, or ‘income stream’, a percentage of their earned wages any day of the month for a flat £1.75 fee, without impacting employers’ cash flow. There are no loans involved and therefore no interest is charged. 

Income streaming will reduce the financial stress associated with unexpected expenses thrown up by the coronavirus lockdown, with tens of millions of people nationwide facing mortgage payments, rent and utility bills alongside the very real prospect of job losses within households. This will be putting the finances of many households under intense pressure, creating an immediate need to release funds to workers. 

Wagestream works with businesses across the leisure, pub, bar and restaurant sector and has been responding to the Covid-19 outbreak by making its income streaming service free to the NHS and its staff. 

It has also introduced a fast-track on-boarding process for new clients, which means any employer can launch the service for its staff in 24 hours, as opposed to three weeks. 

Wagestream is producing a webinar for workers that teaches them 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, commented:  “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. 

“It is not just unexpected expenses that will be having an impact. 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.

“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, Prezzo UK, commented:  “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. Wagestream is extremely simple to use and the team are a pleasure to work with – they care as much as we do.”