British agriculture relies on more than 70,000 migrant workers every year to help support the seasonal workload. Since Brexit, the industry has witnessed government measures being put in place to ensure there are no shortfalls in labour to reach the huge demand. However, with more employees on businesses’ books, more payroll needs to be done. This can take time, money, resources and – depending on how wages are paid – can pose some serious security risks for employees.
Agriculture and the underbanked
In the UK alone, there are about 1.3 million people financially excluded from traditional banking. So, it is not uncommon to find temporary agricultural employees who are unable to find a suitable banking solution in order to securely receive their wages and manage their life in the UK, especially if they have recently migrated to work in the industry.
Typically, temporary workers are denied access to banking either due to lack of documentation to prove their identity, needing three-months proof of address within the UK, or a non-existent UK credit score. Therefore, they are considered as too high risk to benefit from a traditional bank account. However, there is now a new, modern approach to tackling these issues. Suits Me offers a multi award-winning banking solution that allows employers, recruiters, and unions to open accounts for employees safely and securely within minutes.
Supporting employees with life in the UK
Since launching in 2015, Suits Me has worked with numerous businesses within the agricultural industry and created over 120,000 accounts for their workers and other underbanked individuals who need a modern banking experience that promotes financial freedom and wellbeing – much more than what a basic payroll card can offer. The service is completely free and setting up accounts for employees is quick and easy via an online portal.
Becoming a Suits Me business partner will save businesses time and money, plus, removes the need to hold cash on premises. When creating accounts for staff on the Suits Me online portal, businesses will receive their employees’ unique sort code and account number in minutes, so do not need to wait to add them to the payroll system. Businesses can also pay employees’ wages straight into their accounts with a simple bank transfer.
By paying in this way, businesses can safeguard employees and provide them with their own financial independence rather than paying their wages into a family or friend’s UK bank account, which also helps to combat modern slavery in the workplace.
Once accounts have been created for a business’s employees, they will receive a contactless debit card, as well as gain access to online banking and the Suits Me mobile banking app. This will help to provide staff with a transparent view of their ongoing finances without the worry of going overdrawn or getting into debt, a common issue with those new to managing their personal finances.
Additionally, if English isn’t the first language for many employees, business partners will not need to worry about answering any of their worker’s questions about banking and personal finances because Suits Me provides an in-house multilingual customer care team, who can communicate in 12 languages.
Jack Barbary, payroll manager and Eva Olivier, payroll/accommodation officer at FW Mansfield & Son, explain: “We have dealt with two previous providers of prepaid cards, and we are delighted to say that Suits Me has been a breath of fresh air.”
A solution that meets everybody’s needs
In 2020, Suits Me experienced a year of record growth, which has allowed the company to further extend its reach to financially excluded workers in the UK.
One of the reasons the Suits Me e-money account works for so many underbanked individuals is that it does not require proof of address or a need to run credit checks, meaning any worker in genuine need can get access to banking. Richard Lynch, Suits Me managing director, explains: “We are committed to making the lives of businesses who employ temporary workers easier and more efficient with our comprehensive banking solution.
Our mission is to provide individuals, who work within a range of industries, with the tools to successfully manage their finances and therefore, combat the potentially devastating impact of financial exclusion.”
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