PayPal and JUST Capital launch new Initiative to prioritize workers’ financial security and health

PayPal and JUST Capital, in collaboration with Financial Health Network and Good Jobs Institute, announced a new initiative to make workers’ financial security and health a C-suite priority. The organizations are calling on the CEOs of America’s largest companies to conduct a Worker Financial Wellness Assessment as a vital first step toward understanding the financial vulnerability of their workforce and identifying opportunities to improve their resilience over the long-term.

JUST Capital’s research shows that before the pandemic, 50 percent of workers at Russell 1000 companies weren’t making enough to support a family of three, even with a partner working part-time. The pandemic has only exacerbated these systemic economic inequalities. “Markets can do more to help us build a just and equitable society. Treating labor as a cost to be managed or fearing Wall Street reprisals has kept wages stagnant for more than 40 years. If we are going to deliver on the promise of stakeholder capitalism, it’s time for business leaders and investors to realize that our employees are our most valuable asset, and that investing in their well-being will drive long-term financial success.” – CEO of JUST Capital, Martin Whittaker.

The new initiative aims to make workers’ financial security and health a C-suite and investor imperative. A decade’s worth of research shows that when workers are more financially secure, key business outcomes such as productivity, customer satisfaction, and employee turnover and engagement also improve. Therefore, workers’ financial wellness should be a top priority and included in any assessment of a company’s operations or planning for the future.

“Capitalism needs an upgrade. Focusing on the financial wellness of our employees is a tangible action all of us can take to build a more inclusive and equitable economy. Imagine the collective impact we can have if we come together as a business community to ensure that all of our employees are not just surviving – but actually thriving. This is not only the right thing to do for our employees and our communities, but it’s also a great investment in the future of our companies.” – President and CEO of PayPal, said Dan Schulman.

The collaborative, multi-sector initiative is also joined by the Financial Health Network and the Good Jobs Institute. Together, the organizations will help equip companies with the new tools and resources needed to conduct assessments of workers’ financial wellness, as well as identify different kinds of investments and policies business leaders can implement to help bolster the financial security of their workforce.

“As we encourage CEOs to commit to building a more resilient workforce, we also must equip them with the tools they need to gain insight into their workers’ needs and deploy innovative solutions. What gets measured, gets managed, and we must urge active leadership during a time when far too many working Americans are financially insecure.” – Founder and CEO of Financial Health Network, Jennifer Tescher.

To help equip C-suite leaders with taking the first step, the organizations released: Where to Start: Assessing Workers’ Financial Wellness, which defines the state of financial security in America today; identifies key components of performing a Worker Financial Wellness Assessment; and highlights some of the business-side benefits of improving worker security and health.

Over the next several months, the founding partners in this new collaborative initiative will:

  • Convene CEOs and C-suite leaders of the largest public companies in the US to discuss how to improve the financial security and health of their workers.
  • Provide tools and software to help leaders conduct a Worker Financial Wellness Assessment. This will include a wage assessment to understand if workers earn enough to cover the local cost of basic necessities, including housing, transportation, and food, and whether employer-provided benefits provide meaningful financial support or overburden families with fees. It will also include an employee survey to better understand workers’ experiences when it comes to their household planning, spending, savings, and debt.
  • Conduct new research demonstrating the business case for improving workers’ financial health and security, including a detailed case study of the PayPal program.
  • Enlist business and financial media to shift norms and cultivate new expectations in boardrooms and on Wall Street that a financially healthy and secure workforce is key to delivering on the promise of creating an economy that works for all Americans

“Many companies find themselves in a vicious cycle of high turnover, poor operational performance and lower sales. Frontline workers can help drive sales and lower costs, but without financial stability, they can’t truly be present and focus on the job. Knowing how much your frontline workers make is a key first step to building better jobs and stronger performance. We’re excited to partner with JUST Capital, Financial Health Network, and PayPal to provide C-suite leaders with the resources and expertise they need to conduct the Worker Financial Wellness Assessment and then identify and implement solutions that can build long-term resilience benefiting both employees and employers.” – Co-founder and president of Good Jobs Institute,  Zeynep Ton.