Many large Corporations and State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) have internal Employee Wellness programmes. These include the education of employees of the risks involved in bad habits, including drugs, liquor, smoking, food abuse and of course financial debt excess, while providing advice in how to combat these perils, sometimes using external specialists.
It is well known that without financial wellness there cannot be physical, mental or spiritual wellness.
Being financially well is therefore the cornerstone of personal WELLNESS ! However, it is seldom that an employee will volunteer that they have a financial challenge and seek the assistance of the Wellness Coordinator at the place of work because that may well reflect badly on the employee. Many times there are extenuating circumstances leading to the current debt scenario so it is best not to judge.
Many employers do try to help internally with additional loans etc. but the real answer would be to employ a reputable debt counsellor to assess and assist the employee/s. This may not result in debt review but would result in relevant and good advice being proffered. At least a budget could be structured to assist in the implementation of the commitment to do something about the debt burden.
It is therefore important that the employers begin to recognise the signs of an employee under duress. Financial distress leads to a change in the personality of the employee and this affects the relationship with family, friends and co-workers. Absenteeism rises – sometimes as a result of lack of money to pay for transport to get to work, sometimes due to drug and/or alcohol abuse, tempers are short, withdrawal is common place. It is important that these changes are noticed before the inevitable breakdown occurs.
Both management and co-workers should be looking out for any signs in the change in the personality of their co-workers so that they can be identified and be assisted back to a stable financial footing. A debt counsellor is perfectly positioned to assist in all aspects of this recovery regime.
In terms of the National Credit Act no employee/consumer may be penalised through being under the debt review programme. It is illegal to penalise anyone who is on the programme.
Many employees try to extricate themselves from the debt mire by approaching money brokers. Money brokers unless licensed with the Financial Services Board are of course operating illegally and because they are illegal any monies lent cannot be claimed back there being no force in law and the borrower cannot be sued for repayment in a Court of Law.
It is also illegal for money lenders and other financial institutions to demand the credit cards of borrowers and obtain their pins through once swiping the card and using this information to debit the borrowers bank account ad nauseaum. It is of course illegal for credit cards to be held by the lender at any time.
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