Noodles & Company invests in employee wellness with new financial benefit

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Noodles & Company is teaming up with the financial app Even to rollout a new suite of financial wellness benefits for employees.

The fast-casual restaurant chain will help its nearly 10,000 team members with early pay access, budgeting and saving money. The benefit will be offered starting Sept. 25 via Even’s financial wellness app.

“One of the things that we really love about Even is that it focuses on the overall financial well-being of our employees,” says Amy Cohen, director of benefits at Noodles & Company.

Financial wellness programs have been cropping up as employers realize the importance of easing their workers’ monetary stress. Financial concerns are the biggest cause of stress among employees, according to data from consulting firm PwC. Indeed, 59% of employees surveyed say money matters cause the bulk of their stress and 35% of employees are distracted by their finances while at work. Employers including ADP and Walmart offer financial wellness benefits, including giving workers advanced access to wages.

Noodles & Company is also investing in an early wage access benefit. Using the Even mobile app, all employees will get early access to pay. Employees can go into the app and request the funds they have earned before their next pay day. The money can be deposited directly into a bank account or can be picked up in cash at Walmart.

The app also allows employees to build budgets and see exactly how much money they have earned each day. Allowing employees early access to wages helps to educate them on financial wellness, Cohen says.

“Employees can select a percentage of each paycheck that they want to go into a savings account. They can use it as a rainy day fund or a vacation fund, or whatever it is they would like to do,” Cohen says.

This financial wellness program is the latest addition to Life@Noodles, the company's employee benefits package. Other benefits include family friendly offerings such as $10,000 for adoption assistance and paid paternity leave. The company also added a phase in-and-out maternity leave policy paid at 100% of workers’ salaries last year.

Cohen says she thinks giving workers early access to wages will become more commonplace moving forward. Employees often need access to money before payday and this will give them more flexibility, she adds.

“We feel like this is probably the future of payroll, in terms of allowing our employees to access their funds when they need it and not on the company’s cycle,” Cohen says. “That was a big part of why we were looking into this.”

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