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Prescription for savings

As we reported on this week’s episode of “Need to Know,” several employers across Northern Vermont are participating in the “Working Bridges” program, which allows workers to take out “income advance loans” to help pay for unexpected expenses. The loans are then paid off through small paycheck deductions.

“It’s a loan that is available to an employee, no questions asked, no credit check,” said Lisa Jensen, Resource Coordinator for United Way. “When life happens, whether a car is breaking down or perhaps there is a loss of income in the household, they’re in need of a loan, an advance.”

In this web exclusive video we take a look at how behavioral economics have come into play at another Vermont institution in the “Working Bridges” program — the biggest employer in the state: Fletcher Allen Hospital in Burlington.

Laurie Gunn, head of Human Resources for Fletcher Allen, said the investment in emergency loans for the hospital employees is a smart practice that enables workers to focus on their jobs.

“If we reduce turnover, there’s less cost for training, hiring,” she said. “And obviously, we’re going to have more engaged, productive employees than if they’re worried every day coming in, is my car going to start? Is my daycare provider going to be there? So, we’re taking away some of those burdens from them.”

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