Employees’ financial worries are costing their employers £1.6bn a year through lowered output and missed work days.
British workers take four million days off a year because they are worried about their finances, a study from pension and investment company Aegon and the Centre for Economics and Business Research found.
The research, which surveyed 2,000 employees from across UK industries, found that young workers and those employed at smaller businesses are the most at risk.
In small companies one in three employees said they are only getting by financially, compared to 28 per cent in larger firms.
The study also found that nearly half of employers feel it is not their place to get involved and ask their staff about financial worries.
Aegon’s workplace savings director Ronnie Taylor said: “There is a need for businesses to understand more about this issue and urgently address its causes.
"This has been a long-term problem for employers, but our research shows that those who can focus on and address this issue are likely to reap significant benefits to their bottom line.
“Employers need help when it comes to improving employee financial wellbeing. Many aren’t aware of what they can offer employees, while others simply don’t feel it’s their place. That needs to change.
"Our research shows employees both need and want some kind of financial support and highlights just what a difference it can make.”