Latest Guidance from the HCEOA

Throughout the pandemic, #TeamCES have endeavoured to keep you all updated on the latest developments to come from the industry regarding coronavirus and the implications on our activities in the field.

The High Court Enforcement Officer Association (HCEOA) have issued their latest guidance on how companies like ours should operate going forwards.

Ultimately, we still have a duty to continue to protect our staff, the public and those we come into contact with on a daily basis, and so we are pleased to see that the HCEOA are encouraging a cautious approach to the next few months.

Many of the recommendations, which we will go into in further detail, are measures that #TeamCES have been proactively implementing from day one of the pandemic and the first lockdown, way back in March 2020.

Whatever your personal stance on the pandemic, and whether you’re single jabbed, doubled jabbed or not jabbed at all, it is true that cases are on the rise again, and so we must continue to operate sensitively and sensibly.

Protecting the public is paramount, but we have to look after our agents as well, which is why we will be continuing to follow the precautions and measures set out below.

Training - #TeamCES have been industry leaders regarding covid training, commissioning our own training courses and ensuring all of our employed agents (and office staff) receive full training in this area with regular updates where necessary. Just because the restrictions are coming to an end, does not mean our commitment to training our staff is too.

Within our training programmes, we cover things like:

  • Appropriate PPE and face coverings

  • Appropriate use, storage and management of hygiene supplies

  • Social distancing considerations

  • How to protect every stakeholder at every stage; our agents, creditors, debtors and the general public

  • Supporting the vulnerable and identifying mental health issues

Data Collection – This isn’t just about the use of our Halo body worn cameras, to ensure full documentation of every visit and interaction, we also use data collection to ensure any sensitive information is handled properly and carefully. Setting up support plans or payment plans is a very different process during the pandemic, with lots of implications due to vulnerability. We are on it.

Notices of Enforcement – Notices of Enforcement in accordance with The Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013, which give 7 clear days’ notice before the date of a visit, will continue to be issued by #TeamCES, and wherever we are notified of vulnerability prior to the visit, this will take precedent over the visit itself. This is an important measure to take during the country’s exit from pandemic restrictions, for everyone involved.

Visits – Irrespective of whether we are visiting residential or commercial properties, our team will not proceed with visits should we be informed that someone present has either tested positive for coronavirus, or is displaying symptoms. Where we need to serve a Writ, our team will always do the following:

  • Check COVID-19 status

  • Maintain social distancing

  • Use appropriate PPE and Lateral Flow Tests

  • Be on the lookout for the signs which indicate vulnerability

Payment – Where payment cannot or is not made in full, taking control of goods or payment arrangements should be set up, following all covid safe practices, to prevent debtor situations becoming worse.

Testing – As we have done for some time, all #TeamCES agents are tested on a regular basis, using both lateral flow and PCR test varieties.

We welcome this latest guidance from the HCEOA, and acknowledge our commitment to upholding the recommendations within.

We are proud to say that we have operated in this way for a very long time, safely, sensitively and sensibly, and will continue to do so, long after this pandemic is in out of our rear view mirrors.

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