02 September 2015

Ireland, Dublin

  • 59% concerned about health and 54% about paying bills
  • 64% report reduced concentration; 59% reduced job satisfaction; 44% lower employee productivity
  • Stress levels in Ireland are higher than in the UK (82% v 74%)

Dublin, 2nd September 2015: Employees in Ireland are encountering high levels of stress due to concerns about their health and financial well-being, according to Mercer. Mercer’s findings show that 82% of staff are facing increased personal stress, 59% of people are worried about their ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle whilst holding down a job, and over 50% are concerned both about paying their bills and providing for their family if impacted by illness or death.

Mercer’s analysis finds that the stress and anxiety caused by these concerns is contributing to reduced concentration (64%), reduced job satisfaction (59%) and lower employee productivity (44%). The majority of those surveyed said that they would value an employer doing more to help with dealing with stress (61%), providing financial and retirement planning advice (58%), and giving access to online training and development (58%).

The survey showed stress levels in Ireland are higher than in the UK: 74% of UK respondents said they were facing increased stress at work, compared to 82% for Ireland. On the top three issues, Irish employee concerns were all higher:

  • Concerned about maintaining a healthy lifestyle: 59% Ireland versus 48% UK
  • Concerned about providing for family if impacted by death or illness: 55% Ireland versus 41% UK
  • Concerned about paying household bills: 54% Ireland versus 41% UK

Commenting on the survey Niall O’Callaghan, Partner at Mercer, said “Irish employees are clearly suffering from the burden of increased stress and worry that is damaging their ability to concentrate and deliver the best results for their employer. Across all life stages and ages, employees’ personal worries about their health and financial security are having a dramatic effect on how they operate at work. If employees are worried, distracted, not as healthy as they could be, then they are not as engaged as they could be either. Enabling employees to address their concerns is in the interest of employers and employees”.

Niall O’Callaghan explained “Employers who proactively look to provide support and resources to help staff manage stress will see dividends in terms of improved productivity and morale, and lower staff turnover. They will also be better placed to recruit and retain the most talented staff in a tightening labour market as the economy recovers. The increasing high levels of stress experienced in Ireland over the past number of years is bad for business, and bad for the employees and the companies for whom they work.”

Mercer works with companies employing over 250,000 employees in Ireland, and commissioned this research from RED C to understand ways in which companies could provide support that would help staff address the concerns raised and thereby improve productivity, morale and employee satisfaction*.

Today Mercer launches Mercer HarmoniseTM, a digital platform enabling employers and employees to address some of the fundamental health and savings issues facing Ireland’s workforce. The platform helps employers to improve employee engagement, increase productivity and reduce benefit administration costs by allowing employees to manage their health, workplace benefits and financial affairs in one place.

Mercer HarmoniseTM, accessible on smartphone, tablet, and desktop, draws together all of an employee’s pensions, insurance and health data – allowing easy planning and management of personal financial and health goals. Employees can set goals, adjust their savings, compare themselves to their peer group, select benefits, and access an increased array of benefits – actions all designed to nudge users into improving their health and finances. All of these digital services are supported by a customer care team of benefit experts and financial advisers who assist users either over the phone, using chat or face-to-face. 

Niall O’Callaghan explained “Life is increasingly busy and complex. There’s a lot of noise for us all to manage, often related to health or financial issues. We’ve designed Mercer HarmoniseTM to cut through all the noise and jargon. Information is simple, clear and nudges us to take proactive decisions that bring greater peace of mind. Reducing the stress and worry from our daily lives makes us more productive, more energetic and more engaged in all that we do. It takes us one step closer in making tomorrow, today.”

Mercer HarmoniseTM will offer a broad range of products and benefits including:

  • Financial wellness (education & guidance)
  • Retirement savings products (including consolidation and drawdown)
  • Flexible benefits
  • Health products (health risk assessments, digital doctor, medical, optical and dental insurance)
  • Risk products (including death, disability and related protection products)
  • General Insurance products (such as travel, home and car insurance products)
  • Other voluntary benefits (discount schemes and lifestyle offerings); Financial (digital filing cabinet, wealth report).

* The research results from the Red C Ireland and UK survey will be presented at Mercer’s 24 September breakfast seminar on “How Digital is Transforming Employee Engagement”. For more information please contact


Notes for Editors

Fast Facts

  • Methodology: The survey was conducted by Red C among a representative sample of 1,500 employees in the UK and Republic of Ireland between 27th May and the 4th June
  • Key concerns: Maintaining health – 59%; providing for their family if impacted by illness or death (55%); Paying bills – 54%; Retirement saving - 51%
  • Impact of key concerns: Reduced concentration – 64%; Reduced job satisfaction – 59%; Lower Productivity – 44%
  • Improved satisfaction with employer: Help with stress – 61%; Financial and retirement planning advice – 58%; Online training – 58%; Healthy lifestyle support – 48%

About Mercer

Mercer is a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments. Mercer helps clients around the world advance the health, wealth and performance of their most vital asset – their people. Mercer’s more than 20,000 employees are based in more than 40 countries and the firm operates in over 130 countries. Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), a global professional services firm offering clients advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With 57,000 employees worldwide and annual revenue exceeding $13 billion, Marsh & McLennan Companies is also the parent company of Marsh, a leader in insurance broking and risk management; Guy Carpenter, a leader in providing risk and reinsurance intermediary services; and Oliver Wyman, a leader in management consulting. For more information, visit Follow Mercer on Twitter @MercerInsights. In the UK, Mercer Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales No. 9844275. Registered Office: 1 Tower Place West, Tower Place, London, EC3R 5BU.”

Mercer Ireland

Mercer Ireland employs over 450 staff between Dublin and Cork. The company services the needs of over 500 corporate clients and c250,000 members.