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With a focus on employee well-being, Jaya Grocer announced yesterday (April 1) that it’s introducing earned wage access (EWA) in the company. This is done in collaboration with one of Asia’s largest EWA providers called Paywatch

Headquartered in Malaysia, Paywatch is a fintech startup that’s worked with major banks like Hong Leong Bank.

This collaborative project is part of Jaya Grocer’s comprehensive and technology-enabled employee wellness programme that aims to enhance financial flexibility and reduce financial stress. “We are on a transformation journey where the focus is on people,” the brand told us. 

Essentially, EWA is a financial payroll solution that offers employees real-time access to their earned wages before the regular payday. This is not to be confused with a loan or an advance on their salary. One local EWA provider we’ve featured in the past is Payd

The current payroll system that Jaya Grocer uses still remains as is. All Jaya Grocer team members will continue to receive their salaries on a monthly basis through its existing payroll system.    

The only difference with the implementation of EWA is that employees now have an additional avenue to access earned wages. This is usually to help them tide over short-term, unexpected expenses such as emergencies or urgent payments where deadlines cannot be stretched until usual pay days.

Image Credit: Jaya Grocer

“This is helpful for our people as they can then avoid penalties and late fees in urgent situations by making prompt payments,” Jaya Grocer explained. 

A recent study revealed that 42% of employees in Malaysia have high levels of financial risk, and 62% of employees say their mental health impacts their work productivity. Being in a people-centric, labour-intensive industry, Jaya Grocer believes this new EWA introduction will improve welfare.

Together with its EWA system, Jaya Grocer has conducted intensive roadshows for all its outlets and distribution centres to ensure that employees understand its pros and cons. To avoid misuse, there is a minimum and maximum cap that one can withdraw in a month so that it does not affect their end-of-month take-home pay. 

Currently, this is only available to the majority of the supermarket chain’s front-liners and distribution centre team, which is around 3,100 full-timers across the country. Phase 2 of the rollout will cover the remainder of its staff members in the near future.

Image Credit: Jaya Grocer

“The aim of this implementation is to show our people that we care for them and, importantly, as part of the attraction and retention strategy,” the brand stated.

Amidst its network expansion plans this year, Jaya Grocer expects this partnership with Paywatch to strengthen its value proposition for employees while significantly reducing employee turnover. 

Its press release shared that data from Paywatch found EWA to reduce employee turnover by up to 40% while significantly improving productivity. 

“There is a strong correlation between happy, financially secure employees and successful companies,”  said Alex Kim, co-founder and President of Paywatch. “As a holistic solution, Paywatch helps employers cultivate great workplaces and supports their efforts in alleviating money-related stress and distractions for employees so that people can thrive professionally and personally.”

This aligns with Jaya Grocer’s aim of advancing its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) commitment. Specifically, it supports employees to build sustainable livelihoods and improve their resilience to navigate macroeconomic challenges. 

  • Learn more about Jaya Grocer here.
  • Learn more about Paywatch here.
  • Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: Jaya Grocer

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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)