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Changing the nature of pay: a conversation with Sir David Dalton

Sir David Dalton has seen many changes at the NHS. He talks about how Earnd is making a difference.

Sir David Dalton has witnessed many challenges and changes in his 25 years’ experience as an NHS chief executive. He was the CEO of Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, which includes Pennine Acute Trust and Salford Royal Foundation Trust. Salford Royal was the first Trust to be rated ‘outstanding’ on consecutive inspections by the care quality commission and was designated as Global Digital Exemplar for its digital solutions to improve care.

One such digital solution is giving staff access to free on-demand pay. We chatted with him to about on-demand pay and the difference he’s seeing it make in NHS Trusts as well as why easy implementation is a key ingredient for success.


What are the benefits you’ve seen from a tool like Earnd?

Firstly, Earnd gives people a much greater sense of control over their own money. I think in the years to come we’ll start to see what an odd way we’ve paid people, that we’ve made them wait to the end of the month before they receive the money they’ve earned and that they’ve been earning every day. I think that’s one of the principal benefits – it gives people control over their own money. 

Secondly it also gives huge flexibility for how and when people access their money. There are staff who will be fortunate enough to have saved up money for a rainy day when things go wrong – the boiler breaks down, they need to replace a tyre on the car or whatever it may be. But some people haven’t got that. They have to either then borrow money and be charged an extortionate amount of interest or they have to borrow from family and friends.

Earnd gives staff flexibility so they don’t have to do that. Not only are they in control, they can draw down money when they need it most, particularly when unexpected things happen. I’ve heard a number of comments made by staff in the NHS who are now using Earnd. They’ve said it is one of the great freedoms they have, that they’ve been able to access money when they need it – particularly for those unexpected events – and at no cost to them.


Why is now a good time for employers to be thinking about the financial wellbeing of their teams?

I think a lot of employers now realise they should be – and are – doing an awful lot to support the health and wellbeing of their staff, and quite rightly so over this last year with Covid-19. But I think there has been a piece of the jigsaw that has been missing and that’s supporting people in their financial wellbeing.

Financial wellbeing is a shared responsibility between employee and employer. So I think this is where NHS Trusts or employers can demonstrate they’re interested in supporting the financial wellbeing of their employees and they can, through that, communicate that they really value the contribution that people are making.  

We also know one of the principal reasons for absence from work is due to the stress and anxiety that people have. The research shows that the main reason for stress and anxiety is the worry people have about their financial positions. So here is an opportunity where employers can reduce that by making Earnd available, reducing that anxiety, with the expectation that it will also reduce the number of absences.


What would you say to NHS Trusts considering partnering with Earnd?

It seems so sensible to do, to be able to offer this financial flexibility to staff and support them in their financial wellbeing. I’m sure enlightened employers will be wanting to do this, to offer further support to their staff. It’s a way you can strongly signal the value you give to people’s contribution to your organisation. So I very much hope that people will want to do this to support their staff.

I’ve also been really impressed with what I’ve seen Earnd be able to do with NHS employers. That is to work with them to develop a package that makes implementation easy. There is a wealth of experience in how to introduce new policies and procedures and protocols, and each time Earnd is being implemented into an NHS Trust or organisation we have that learning experience which means we can make implementation easier and more reliable. It makes implementation nice and easy for employers.


What next?

It’s easy and straightforward to start offering your staff the freedom and flexibility of on-demand pay. If you think this could work for your business, take a look at how on-demand pay works and join the revolution.

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