A financial services company is fronting a drive to get businesses to give their workers one hour per month off work to tackle money issues.

Insurer Axa will launch My Budget Day on November 21 to encourage companies to give employees an hour off per month to better manage their money.

The company said money worries are a key cause of stress, which costs British businesses some 9.6 billion pounds per year.

The scheme has the backing of the Confederation of British Industry and the country's largest union, Unite.

Richard Lambert, director-general of the CBI, said: My Budget Day is a breath of fresh air and should be seen as a new and innovative way for employers to engage with and motivate their workforce.

Axa has pledged to give its 12,000 employees the first hour of November 21 to assess their finances.

Head of pensions and savings Steve Folkard said: Money is one of the major causes of stress for adults and as such it is a major cause of employee absenteeism.

Employees are already costing their employers some 1.08 billion pounds every week by wasting time on non-work related activities including gossiping, texting, logging onto social networking sites and emailing friends and family -- that's 40 minutes a day.

If businesses are prepared to let their employees spend over three hours a month wasting their time on text messages, then asking them to dedicate just one of those hours to helping their employees alleviate their money worries doesn't seem like a lot to ask.

For further information go to www.axa.co.uk/mybudgetday.