Supabarn says allowing staff to access their earned pay before payday is helping attract talent

Supermarkets fresh food supabarn

Canberra-based independent grocery retailer Supabarn believes it has found an edge in attracting staff amid serious labour shortages in the sector.

Owner Theo Koundouris says offering staff flexible access to wages has helped attract talent — and there has been a quick uptake among existing staff.

“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,” Koundouris says.

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

Supabarn partnered with payroll software company Paytime to implement the program. The company cites an independent survey of more than 1000 Australian workers in the retail, healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality and mining sectors and found that 81% would like the opportunity to access earned pay before their regular payday. Nearly three-quarters of respondents said it would influence their decision to accept a job offer from one employer over another if early access was available.

“In the US and UK this is already commonplace in the retail industry with stores like Foot Locker, KFC, McDonald’s, Burger King, and Pizza Hut already offering it to their staff,” said Steven Furman, Paytime’s founder and CEO.

“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.”

The solution should not be mistaken for a loan or an advance on pay, he says.

“We are simply allowing staff to access what they have already earned.”

This article was first published by Inside Retail.

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