OTG Management uses earned wage access cards to help employees deal with inflation and emergency costs



When employees work a shift, they can access the app and request the money deposited on their payment card as soon as they leave, he says, noting that workers can transfer the funds to their bank account or even pay invoices directly from the card.

Read: Survey finds Canadians’ financial well-being continues to deteriorate amid rising inflation

“It’s a transparent process, so when a request is made by crew members, the . . . The system automatically calculates all of their taxes and determines the amount of funds they have available based on their tax deductions or their garnishment. We want people to be good stewards of their money… so we’ve set up the system so they can only get 50% of what they’ve earned.

This benefit is especially useful for employees who don’t have a bank account and can use the card as rainy-day funds, providing a cushion between pay periods. “If someone has a flat tire, it’s an unexpected $200 to $300 charge that can land between pay periods. We offer this benefit exactly for these reasons.

Plus, if employees who still receive paper paychecks lose them, they can have the funds sent directly to the card instead. Some employees with kids who attend college or university give the card to their children and deposit $200 to $300 every two weeks for food or other expenses, House says, adding that he uses his card as funds. Christmas, by putting a little money into it each pay period.

Read: Face to Face: Should Canadian Policymakers Facilitate a Workplace Emergency Savings Benefit?

The advantage has also contributed to OTG’s attraction and retention efforts, helping to differentiate the company from competitors, he adds. “We are getting closer to being fully staffed at all of our sites, [which] is a big win based on the market brand. The hiring market is very tight and there are not many people to fill the available positions. But we are fortunate to be almost fully staffed, and the [earned-wage access card] is part of this process and this success. It’s an upselling point for us.

House thinks there will eventually be wider adoption of earned salary access cards by other employers. “With technology, things can happen at a much faster rate. It would make sense for the entire payroll industry to convert to this type of system, where it is more instantaneous in terms of payroll delivery, rather than waiting two weeks or one week. . . which meant that employees really had to balance their finances to get to the next pay period. I could see the industry flipping the other way.

Read: How employers can change their benefits packages amid rising inflation

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