Debt collection is a necessary evil in today’s society. However, it’s not difficult to see why some individuals may see it as unjust. Nobody actively seeks to fall into debt; life can simply get in the way. Whether it’s job loss, illness, disability, or something else, with the right support, many people could improve their situations. This is where the government’s Fairness Group comes in.
The Fairness Group is a collaborative effort between different governmental bodies, designed to establish fairness in debt management practices. From central and local governments to debt advice and debt collection organizations, the group is responsible for making recommendations based on evidence to ensure fairness for all.
The group created a toolkit to help public sector bodies responsibly recover their debts while identifying and supporting vulnerable customers. The toolkit offers policy makers and service managers examples of best practice and changes that they can incorporate into their respective organizations.
In The Debt Management Vulnerability Toolkit for Service and Policy Managers V2, the government defines a “vulnerable customer” as “someone who, due to their personal circumstances, is especially susceptible to harm, particularly when a firm is not acting with appropriate levels of care.” This definition is an excellent starting point because it recognizes the diversity of vulnerability.
Every individual can be vulnerable, and at some point in their lives, they will experience some form of vulnerability. The defining factor of vulnerability, however, is that its experience is different for everybody, and it can manifest itself at any point during a customer’s journey. This could be from the moment they get into debt all the way through to their debt repayment process.
The Debt Management Vulnerability Toolkit for Service and Policy Managers V2 offers tools and guidance for identifying and supporting vulnerable customers. It includes identifying common harms and recording information about vulnerability, providing appropriate support, signposting, guiding customers’ money, and supporting staff resilience. All of these are geared toward ensuring organizations can enable all customers, regardless of any additional needs they may have, to access their services.
– The Government Debt Management Function (GDMF) oversees the UK government’s debt management strategies, including repayment of national debts and other financial obligations.
– The Fairness Group Vulnerability Sub-Group is tasked with shaping the toolkit to ensure it reflects best practices for identifying and supporting vulnerable customers.
– A Public Sector Economic Abuse Toolkit was created alongside the Vulnerability Toolkit as part of this initiative.
Debt may be a necessary evil of modern life, but it’s crucial to ensure its management is fair and responsible for all individuals. The Debt Management Vulnerability Toolkit for Service and Policy Managers V2 offers policy makers and service managers the tools and guidance necessary to identify and support vulnerable customers appropriately.
In conclusion, the Fairness Group aims to establish fairness in debt management practices for all people. The Debt Management Vulnerability Toolkit for Service and Policy Managers V2 is an invaluable resource that offers policy makers and service managers practical tools and guidance on identifying and supporting vulnerable customers. With this toolkit in place, organizations can better ensure that all customers receive appropriate support, regardless of their circumstances.