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Zest recommends: Financial wellbeing

Are you looking to improve your financial wellbeing benefits? We take a look at some of our recommended providers currently available to you.

Here at Zest, we love the F word….

It’s the penny to our pound. The dime to our nickel. The sunshine in what can be to some, a rather cloudy day.

We are, of course, talking about financial wellbeing.

It covers more topics than your favourite TV quiz master and can play a pivotal role in helping employees through the current cost of living crisis. So, what better month to champion our financial wellbeing recommendations than February?

February. Finances. Future.

And in that exact order, too. With apologies to Saint Valentine, it’s a financially focused February for us here at Zest.

While the global Covid pandemic may seem like a distant memory, we’ve seen major shifts in both the working world and the UK job market. Zest’s research has found that today’s employers are putting more resources into their employee benefits offering in an attempt to stay ahead of their competitors.

Half (48%) of businesses surveyed have increased investment in their benefits package in the last 12 months in response to the challenging economic client – with large companies (51%) more likely to do so than the smaller ones (40%). When it comes to employees, two in five (42%) say that a benefits package is the most important consideration when seeking a new role.

So how do you stand out from the crowd? How can you ensure that your offering is in tip-top shape? By providing colleagues access to the best employee financial wellbeing benefits, of course.

As the old saying goes, keep an eye on the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves. Below we advise on our top financial wellbeing providers and solutions that can help secure your employees a healthier financial future.

Zest’s top financial wellbeing providers


Providing a truly holistic solution to financial wellbeing for employees, Maji offer a bespoke portal that’s able to assess your current financial state, monitoring and reporting on your progress in order to implement changes.

They offer unlimited 1-2-1 sessions with financial coaches, plus open banking integration which can assess spend trends and link them back to your benefits scheme. Ultimately, this will help highlight potential savings that can be made.


Give your employees the option to access a portion of their earned pay if, and when, they need it. An on-demand service, Hastee supports your staff by financially empowering them, helping to differentiate your company as a fairer, more forward-thinking employer.

They also deliver a wide array of financial education and management tools to help money go that little bit further, and rewards and cashback from well-known high street stores.

Octopus Money

Help your employees take the first step towards making their life dreams a reality with Octopus Money.

Through a mix of real, friendly people and very clever technology, Octopus Money can help employees connect the dots between the life they want to live and the choices they make with their money.

They provide access to 1-2-1 financial coaching which covers support on Pensions, benefits, mortgages, budgeting and will writing to name just a few. These are all tracked via a path to retirement dashboard. They make it easier, cheaper and more exciting for everyone to get money advice from a real person, and not just a robot.

Zest’s top financial wellbeing solutions

Salary sacrifice

Ah, the gift that keeps on giving (quite literally).

Salary sacrifice is an agreement to reduce your salary, often in exchange for the employer purchasing a benefit. This means your employee has a lower gross salary on which to pay tax and National Insurance (NI). This is often treated as a negative payment on a payslip.

With this agreement, the benefit is not subject to income tax or NI via payroll but is deemed employer provided and must be reported to HMRC as a benefit-in-kind on a P11d (unless exempt).


It’s time to number crunch. Could you live off £203.85 per week? £10,600 each year?

With inflation up and down like a yo-yo and the cost of Freddos now a worrying 25p (maybe we’re showing our age), the maximum new state payment pension for those that reach 66 is arguably not enough to get by.

So how do you help employees plan for tomorrow, today?

It’s imperative that you educate them on your company Pension scheme. Our benefit expert has crunched the numbers and detailed how much employees should be saving in their workplace Pension to ensure a comfortable retirement.

Make the most of a leap year

With an extra day in the month this February, there’s no excuse to not prioritise your financial package.

Is Pancake Day the best time to flip your financial wellbeing package upside down? Perhaps Valentine’s Day is the best suited to finding the perfect romance between employees and their future savings. Whatever you do this month, make sure your employees ‘benefit’.

Want to know how Zest Marketplace can benefit your colleagues? Get in touch with our dedicated team today.

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