Employer Intervention Process

Systems & Processses

ICS will be able to provide assistance through three channels:

  1. One on one face to face consultations on site;
  2. Through our Call Centre (the National Responsible Credit Helpline); and
  3. Requests through Whatsapp

Systems

Ithuseng currently uses two case management systems to ensure that cases are received, recorded, and managed properly.

Simplicity Debt Counselling System

The National Credit Regulator requires Debt Counsellors to use a system to manage Debt Counselling cases and distribute funds through registered Payment Distribution Agents. We are therefore contracted with HYPHEN PDA for the system to manage debt counselling applications.

Collab Administration and Garnishee Order Management System

We are contracted to COLLAB which provides a case management system for resolving cases related to Administration Orders, Garnishee Orders and Debt Collection.

Credit Bureau Records

ICS subscribes to XDS Credit Bureau. This allows us to access the credit reports of employees, print and provide them with copies on site. ICS first obtains the consent of the employee before accessing their credit report. A detailed explanation of the report is provided to the employee as well as advice of how to fix any identified problems.

The National Responsible Credit Helpline

The Helpline has a shared call number and operates from the AVAYA call centre system with special features like call recording and teleconference facilities to assist with three way engagement between creditors and the consumer.

Agents are trained to provide information and guidance on credit related matters, detailed process information and requirements relating to the case.  This team also provides follow-up and other administrative functions to support the Adjudicators.

The NRC Helpline is available daily from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Employees will have access to knowledgeable helpline agents who will ensures that employees have access to credible and objective information and assistance that addresses the employees  unique circumstances, concerns or situation at the time that they call. For employees who have gone through the training and coaching program, the Helpline will ensure that employees have access to on-going information and support to ensure that they are able to sustain and implement what they have learned.

The NRC Helpline offers consumers:

  • An improved understanding of credit products, concepts and risks;
  • through information, instruction and/or objective advice, develop skills and confidence to become more aware of credit risks and opportunities;
  • facilitate making informed choices regarding options available to address financial hardship;
  • Advice of how and where to access redress;
  • Enables effective actions to improve their credit status, financial well-being and become responsible users of credit.

Helpline Contact Options And Process

The help desk system is integrated with the CMS system, outline above, with users access defined per role.  The Help Desk Agents are supported by temporary backup agents to accommodate leave and absenteeism and the need to increase capacity within a short period of time.

Project Approach and Proposed Solution

The project’s objectives are to:

  • Primary objective – To provide personal credit health assessments, rehabilitation, money management coaching services and debt relief options to employees on an on-going basis.
  • Secondary objective – To provide employers with insights and information regarding the credit health of its employees. This could be used to inform targeted interventions to support and prevent the negative consequences of over indebtedness in the workplace and to ensure that  employees do not pose any risks to your business and continually meet the Vetting requirements.

Scope of Services

Ithuseng will deliver a “Credit Health Assessment, Fitness Coaching & Debt Relief” service to identified or volunteer  employees to:

  • To identify financial stress and risks and implement a tailored rehabilitation plan for each employee;
  • To provide debt relief assistance to financially stressed employees through formal and informal debt relief options;
  • Assist with guidance on how to resolve disputed credit bureau information or improve the credit scores;
  • Improve household cash flow by budgeting and managing their finances properly;
  • Improve their affordability to qualify for housing and car finance;
  • Provide empowering information on a continuous basis to employees through SMS, Emailers and the National Responsible Credit Helpline.

The outcomes of the employee Credit Health Assessment, Fitness Coaching & Debt Relief Solutions sessions will be presented to your business in an agreed report format.  The purpose of this report is to provide insight into the reasons employees become over indebted, the results of the intervention and strategies for preventative steps to be taken by the employer to avoid spread to other employees of future occurrences.

High level intervention process

Below is a description of the overall process that ICS will follow in assessing the credit health of employees and identifying suitable solutions.

The Credit Health Coaching & Debt Relief Process

Outcome of Credit Health Assessment

The ICS conducts a one on one face to face consultation with each individual at the place of employment. Alternatively the assessment can be done telephonically or through the MONEYAC PORTAL. We use the individual’s credit bureau report, bank statements and pay slip information combined with a detailed assessment of household/individual income and expenses to determine their credit health status.

The ICS uses a star status indicating a ranking which plots the individual employee’s credit standing from a sad face (very unhealthy) to a big smiley face (Very Healthy) as indicated below.  Each category requires a different intervention and the ultimate goal would be for all employees to work towards being in the top two categories of financial fitness.

The ICS is able to provide interested participants with their Credit Bureau reports on site including a 30-60 minute coaching session where the individual is assisted to put a credit health improvement plan in place.

Credit and Financial Fitness Coaching

For those individuals that fall into the three categories of being debt stressed and lacking affordability the Debt Management Workshops will have to be supplemented by one on one coaching in order to guarantee a change in behavior and an improvement in their credit health and financial fitness. Credit Health Coaching refers to the individual one-on-one sessions with individual employees where their specific situation is analyzed and action plans are devised to address the employee’s individual needs and plot their journey to Credit Fitness. The individual continues to get support from the Helpline.

The number of coaching sessions is determined by the combined outcome of the employee’s assessment taking both their credit bureau and payslip information and the outcomes of their household budget assessment.

Emolument Attachment Order (EAO)/Garnishee Order Verification & Resolution

Emolument Attachment Orders (EAO’s) have been a concern and contentious subject for some time in South Africa and due to some of the irregularities that have come to light and the unfortunate incident at Marikina it is now a top priority for most employers.

This is fortunately one area where employers can make a difference by taking preventative action and implement support mechanisms to deal with disputes and in doing so make a real difference in the lives of their employees. The recent High Court decision makes it more imperative for employers to address any abuse of the system and provide redress to employees.

Reporting

The outcomes of the employee Credit Health Assessment, Fitness Coaching & Mediation sessions will be presented to SERVICES SETA in an agreed report format.  The purpose of this report is to provide insight into the reasons employees become over indebted, the results of the intervention and strategies for preventative steps to be taken by the employer to avoid spread to other employees of future occurrences. The Report will contain the following:

  • Household expenditure patterns to identify where the bulk of monthly expenses go to;
  • Type of debt including informal mashonisa debt;
  • Reasons for becoming over indebted;
  • Source of credit (bank, micro lender, furniture, pay day lenders)
  • Outcome of rehabilitation plan or debt relief interventions per employee assisted.

Communication With Employees

It is important that employees understand the purpose of the intervention so that any fears they have are allayed and their participation is acquired. These are some of the frequently asked questions we get from employees:

What Is A Credit Health Assessment?

It is an assessment of your credit bureau report and household budget to assist you to manage your debt and resolve any problems you have regarding deductions relating to credit on your payslip or bank. Understanding your credit bureau report and credit health is very important to start the road to being a healthy credit active consumer that does not have excessive debts, has a clean credit record and free cash at the end of the month to save and invest. This credit health journey focuses on your needs with tailor made interventions to assist you to progress towards becoming financially fit, maintaining your Credit Health Fitness level and resolving any problematic issues picked up on your pay slip or credit bureau report.

What Information Is Required?

  • your credit bureau report which the ICS will get for your after you give approval;
  • your pay slip to identify any problematic deductions;
  • 3 month bank statement to identify how and on what you spend your money; and
  • Your household budget based on information you provide to us.

Why Must I Do A Credit Health Assessment?

Doing a credit health assessment will help you with the following:

  • Resolve disputed, illegal and unaffordable Garnishee Orders;
  • Understand all the information contained in your credit bureau report and get advise on how to dispute incorrect or fraudulent information as well as how to deal with judgments and adverse information(Blacklisting)
  • Understand how to manage your income and expenses so that you have money left over at the end of the month to save for big purchases and emergencies;
  • Understand how credit works and how to manage your debts;
  • Improve your affordability to qualify for housing and car finance;

How Will the Confidentiality of my Information Be Handled?

 All information will be kept confidential and will only be disclosed to other people or your employer only if you give permission. Based on section 68 of the National Credit Act 34 of 2005 which provides that a consumer’s confidential data may only be released to a third party as permitted or required in terms of the Act or with the instructions of the consumer; read with section 53 of the Promotion of Access to Information Act No.2 of 2000 and principles of POPI, the ICS will:

  1. Obtain consumer’s consent prior to obtaining the credit report from the credit bureau
  2. Use the information for legal purposes
  3. Protect confidentiality of the information
  4. Justify the use of the information
  5. Keep record of all credit bureau reports requested including the reason and the reference number;
  6. Destroy the information after 5 years from the date the matter was finalised

Employee Feedback

It is proposed that each employee who have undergone a credit health assessment or coaching intervention complete a survey to indicate how they experienced the intervention and their perceived value add. SERVICES SETA can elect to have more questions added to the survey. The following questions are proposed but can be amended to ensure the client’s needs are met:

No Question YES NO
1 Was the coach knowledgeable and able to answer your questions and provide guidance?    
2 Do you have a better understanding of your credit status and the impact it has?    
3 Do you have a better understanding of your budget and monthly expenses?    
4 Do you think the plan of action will change your situation?    
5 Are you determined to fully commit to the plan and do what it takes?    
  Have your disputes been resolved to your satisfaction    

The credit bureau reports of each employee who goes through the coaching or debt relief process will be checked at appropriate intervals to verify the impact of the interventions.

Costing & Fees

The costing for the project is detailed in Annexure 1. Please note that the costing below is open to discussion and tailor making to suit each employer’s requirements. Should you be interested in taking up the services please provide us with the number of employees as well as provincial or location spread and a formal quote will be prepared.