Over the past year, changes have been made to ensure the safety of DWP staff and benefit recipients during the pandemic. But now the face-to-face dates could resume.
In line with the latest public health guidelines and by adhering to strict safety protocols, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) plans to start reintroducing in-person assessments of health and disability benefits in May.
Updating DWP through its Touchbase service says, “People will be invited to their appointments by letter, which will clearly state what to expect when they meet.
“Face-to-face assessments will run alongside the existing paper-based assessments and telephone assessments – for work capacity assessments and PIP – which will continue to take place as appropriate. “
The Jobcentre Plus offices also resumed face-to-face appointments at the end of April for clients who need to be seen by their work coach, however, the LA Welfare Direct newsletter on the site Web GOV.UK indicates that priority is given to “new clients and young people (aged 18-24) at risk of long-term unemployment”.
The DWP said it has worked with assessment providers to ensure assessment centers are fully compliant with Covid-19 security measures and earlier this week posted detailed guidance on GOV.UK for applicants and providers of assessment to support the safe recovery of face-to-face. evaluations.
Detailed DWP guidelines for applicants in Scotland, England and Wales invited to participate in an in-person assessment include:
- Advice for applicants who are “clinically extremely vulnerable”
- Advice on who you can bring with you to the assessment center
- Social distancing requirements
- PPE and face coverings
The DWP said, “Our approach and guidance will be kept under review to ensure the ministry’s approach remains aligned with the latest public health guidelines. “
The DWP has also added new temporary employment centers across the UK, reports the Manchester Evening News.
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The ministry is setting up temporary employment centers in 2021 to cope with the increased demand for services due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The new employment centers will provide services across the country where they are needed and increase the capacity to provide one-on-one, one-on-one support in a Covid-secured environment to help more people return to work.
The full list of temporary employment agencies across the UK is available on the GOV.UK website here.