There's somebody at the door . .
Reporting around debt-recovery, industry regulation and bailiff conduct is never too far from the news. Whether you see it as a cultural sign of the times with regards to credit availability, a product of corporate greed, or a harsh legacy of austerity - many will have noticed the coverage stemming from headlines like 'Rule-Breaking Bailiffs Pushing People Into Debt And Increased Anxiety' which landed fresh on the back of the weekend's Centenary Remembrance.
Based on a new report from Citizens Advice and StepChange; it suggests that "two in five individuals contacted by bailiffs experienced aggression or intimidation, and a third (850,000) of the 2.2 million people contacted by a bailiff in the last two years saw them pushing the legal limits - such as by forcing entry into a home, removing goods needed for work and refusing to accept a reasonable payment plan."
Debt is obviously a sensitive subject - and whilst this blog is not intended to comment on how people find themselves in debt, or perceptions of bailiff behaviour - it would acknowledge that appropriate measures (whether regulatory or the ethical practice of a body corporate) should ensure that all parties are safe, treated with respect and dignity, and proceedings are conducted in a lawful manner.
The above translates across many industries however. A situation involving a bailiff is particularly intense because it involves access to and sometimes the removal of property, but anytime a worker enters someone's home, much of the same applies regardless of sector.
Which leads us back to protection . . If as some suggest, there is a regulatory gap in a sector, why not use cost effective tools to drive best practice, achieve accountability, eliminate hearsay and make employees safe at the same time?
For under 50 pence a day, a mobile worker can be equipped with credible lone worker technology, which can be used to capture audio of events. Not covertly - but in line with policy, out in the open to verify that everyone is protected. Adopting the correct processes and driving best practice - which in turn adds value to the employing organisation and helps ensure that everyone is behaving properly.
This inherently brings a number of advantages:
- Everyone is informed
- No one is misrepresented
- Any live situation is monitored by an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) and can be escalated to the authorities if needed
- The ARC will only escalate in-line with Police guidelines, therefore filters out anything that would waste public resources
- Data is stored securely and in line with Data Protection / GDPR
- Audio evidence can be released for use retrospectively where appropriate
So, a question to all employers - are you doing enough to ensure that your staff, and those they interact with are safe, and properly represented?
It can be cost effective to implement, protects your people, and demonstrates care as an organisation that reflects positively on your brand. All good, right?