On 4 January 2021, the Prime Minister announced that the government will be introducing new national COVID-19 measures in England to protect the NHS and save lives.
This means from 5 January 2021 until further notice, the following updated jobcentre guidance will apply to customers in England, and will ensure essential support is provided whilst keeping colleagues and customers safe.
The government guidance is as follows:
- “Jobcentres will remain open, as they have throughout this pandemic, to provide essential services and support to those who we cannot help in any other way.
- We will ensure that this support continues to be delivered in line with the latest government and PHE guidance – such as maintaining social distancing and rigorous cleaning regimes – keeping our colleagues and customers safe.
- Work Coaches will be empowered to support customers through the best and most appropriate channels – whether online, by phone, or in person – with jobcentres remaining open to help those who need extra support and are unable to interact with us on the phone or digitally.
- Our Work Coaches will continue to deliver employment support programmes such as the Job Entry Targeted Support (JETs) scheme, by phone or through online channels.
- Face-to-face assessments for disability benefits remain suspended.
- If you think you might be entitled to a health and disability benefit, you should contact us as soon as possible to make a claim in the usual way.
- For existing customers, payments will continue as normal. Anyone who has a change in their needs should contact us immediately so we can ensure they are receiving the correct level of support.
- From 18 January: Jobcentres will be open from 10am to 2pm to help keep our colleagues and customers as safe as possible in the latest phase of this pandemic. Members of the public entering a jobcentre, unless exempt, will be required to wear a face covering.“
For Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland guidance, click here.