Association between FNB and Workforce Holdings’ subsidiary educates and empowers workers

Essential Employee Benefits (EEB), a wholly owned subsidiary of Workforce Holdings Limited (“Workforce Holdings”) (JSE: WKF), has collaborated with FNB to offer a range of financial products and services to all contract and permanent workers employed through the holding company, giving many of its 34,000 strong workforce access to financial inclusion for the first time.

“Having access to these products and services will give contract workers access to the security of electronic banking, the cost efficiency of debit or EFT banking, and give them the tools that they need to build up their savings,” says Eli Unterslak, Business Manager at EEB. “In the coming months EEB will be working with FNB, with new workers joining Workforce Holdings Limited companies being able to open new bank accounts without having to go into an FNB branch.”

EEB introduced this new offering through a pilot education programme at eight of its sites in KwaZulu Natal, which was supported by an SMS and marketing program that meant that all workers received communication about the offering, even if they were working shifts and couldn’t attend education sessions. The range of products and services that are part of this collaboration will continue to be rolled out across its sites in the coming months.

For the first time, workers opening a banking account through the EEB FNB association will be able to enjoy discounted bank charges, airtime rewards of up to R80 per month if they have a Smart Account, free funeral cover for three months, access to FNB’s eBucks rewards system if they have a Gold Account, free debit order switching, well as mobile and webbased banking. Most importantly, they will be exposed to financial education initiatives, empowering them to make the best financial decisions to enable them to improve their circumstances.

“There is no measure on the importance of the freedom enjoyed through financial inclusion, financial freedom and financial wellness,” says Unterslak. “Delivering effective, affordable financial services to contract workers has always been a challenge as it is a particularly complex sector of the market, but we are confident that this association will further empower the thousands of contract workers who are employed through the Workforce Holdings group of companies, as well as extend beyond these assignees.”

Owning a bank account will give Workforce Holdings’ contract and permanent employees the ability to save for short term goals or long term needs such as retirement, as well as giving them the scope to apply for credit so that they can improve their personal circumstances through education, or even applying for a mortgage so that they can provide a better home for their families.

“Having a bank account gives people the resources and dignity they need to break the cycle of living hand to mouth and day to day,” says Lawrence Diamond, Chief Executive Officer of Workforce Holdings. “At Workforce Holdings, we are continually looking for ways to give our contractors access to the financial products and services that every worker is entitled to. This association with FNB is just one more way that we are assisting them.”

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