Independent grocery chain Supabarn has announced that it has begun offering its workers immediate access to their wages through its new partnership with Paytime.

With labour shortages continuing to be a major barrier to retail recovery, Supabarn hopes that offering workers early access to their pay will help with both attracting and retaining staff in what is a tight labour market.

Theo Koundouris, owner, Supabarn, says offering staff access to their earned wages has already helped attract talent and has seen quick uptake.

“It’s been hard to find staff with the absence of international student and visa holders the past few years. Now we’re looking for new, innovative ways of doing things to attract and retain our staff.

“Half of our employees live paycheck to paycheck. In the first week we introduced it we had a huge uptake and very positive feedback,” he says.

Paytime provides businesses with a free technology platform that allows employees the ability to access a portion of their earned pay at any time during the month.

There is also no effect on a company’s cash flow when staff access their pay, as Paytime funds these withdrawals on behalf of the company. It’s not a payday loan, there is no percentage interest charged, there is no need to do credit checks as there is nothing for the employee to repay – employees can only access the money they’ve already earned.

Steven Furman, Founder and CEO of Paytime, said that over the past four months alone, Paytime has seen a 600 per cent surge in enquiries for its offering.

“The days of employees having to wait for a fixed payday is quickly becoming redundant. Like having flexibility around work from home, employees, and especially millennials are demanding a solution that allows them to access a portion of their earned pay at any time in the month. It’s important that companies are aware that our solution is not a loan whatsoever, we are simply allowing staff to access what they have already earned. We are getting over 200 inquiries a week,” he says.

A recently released independent survey of more than 1,000 Australian workers, across retail, education, healthcare, manufacturing, mining and hospitality, found that 81 per cent would like to have the opportunity to access their earned pay before payday.

The data also found that 83 per cent also believed their mental wellbeing would improve if they could access their pay when it suits them and 72 per cent would likely choose one employer over another if they offered early access to their earned wages.

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