"Australians continue to suffer the debilitating effects of financial stress, which is taking a huge personal toll on mental and physical wellbeing, particularly for younger women and single parents," AMP director of workplace superannuation Ilaine Anderson said.
"This is spilling into work with stressed employees worried and distracted, and not performing at the levels they're capable of, or they don't turn up at all," said Anderson.
AMP estimated the combined effect of employee distraction and absenteeism could cost the economy 30.9 billion Australian dollars (22.48 billion U.S. dollars) annually.
According to the AMP 2020 financial wellness research, women were more heavily impacted. Almost one in five female employees encountered severe or moderate levels of financial stress, almost double the figure reported for male workers.
Meanwhile, in a year dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the report found 42 percent of employees believe that their financial situation has been negatively impacted through business and employment disruption, with hospitality and retail workers experiencing the highest level of stress.
Only one in 10 Australians, whose employment or business have not been impacted or otherwise benefited through COVID-19 reported a positive impact on their financial stress levels.
"While COVID-19 is understandably creating significantly more anxiety for those directly impacted and blurring work and home life, the research, conducted since 2014, shows that financial stress remains a systemic issue in Australian society," Anderson said.