Club Toowoomba and Rocky Sports Club CEO Jack Hughes has found one solution to lure in casual workers.

Rocky Sports Club in Rockhampton and Club Toowoomba have introduced a new system that allows workers to be paid right after a shift, rather than waiting for pay cycles in a bid to fill shifts and encourage new casuals to sign up.

Until recently Rocky Sports Club was forced to shut the bar early and reduce services such as its courtesy bus because of a lack of permanent staff and casual workers. Both Rocky and Club Toowoomba have now introduced Earned Wage Access, through supplier Paytime, which allows workers to be paid some of their wage straight after their shift is completed, rather than waiting for the usual fortnightly or monthly pay cycles.

Jack Hughes, CEO of both clubs, says nearly half of its workforce of 100 employees has already used the service in the past month and they are now finding it easier to fill shifts.

“It’s been a tough time for the hospitality industry and we’ve felt it too in terms of being unable to find staff,” said Hughes. “We normally pay our staff fortnightly so it can be quite a drawn-out process, especially if the shift you work is at the start of that pay cycle. We hire a lot of uni students and senior school students so being able to offer them their money straight after a shift is a huge drawcard.

“Predominantly, most of our staff are casual and if they are only working 20 hours a week, its sometimes a bit difficult to make ends meet when they get to the end of the fortnight, and everyone knows how much the cost of living is going up.” 

Hughes’ biggest concern was integration with their roster, payroll system and accounting.

“But it’s been a seamless process,” he said.

Each transaction costs $3.50 and there are various models, with either the business paying or the staff member, or each paying a percentage. Hughes has set a limit on access to 50 per cent of a worker’s earned wages.

Paytime CEO Steven Furman said Earned Wage Access is popular with hospitality venues and retailers due to the nature of the shift work required.

“Young workers, particularly millennials are used to having instant access to most things in life – and now they’re wanting that same access to their wages,” he said. “Research has proven that forcing people to wait for a set payday does not help them budget better. 

“We all work every day, have expenses every day, but are then forced to wait for a payday that suits the employer. Young families, with things like unexpected medical expenses, no longer feel that this is fair.

“Earned wage access gives workers access to the money they’ve already earned so they don’t have to borrow it from somewhere else.”

Paytime is one of several early pay providers on the market and while some personal finance experts have warned that pay spent now means not a lot in the kitty for next week, Hughes hasn’t had any such problem.

“No one’s been misusing it as far as I know,” he said.

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