All Jobcentres have remained open during COVID-19 and continue to see the most vulnerable customers requiring support. Customers attending a Jobcentre will be triaged first and if appropriate they will be seen either immediately or asked to call back with an appointment. If it is deemed they can resolve a query/issue using alternative digital channels or via the telephone, they will be signposted to use these services.
It is important to note that Work Coaches have been given the flexibility to still see a customer face to face if appropriate in a Jobcentre. This is at the discretion of the Work Coach and careful consideration will be made on an individual case by case basis.
Each site may differ slightly in their approach due to social distancing, number of staff available etc. It is important that customers continue to use Digital channels as the first point of contact if possible.
Due to the extension of furlough, the anticipated increase in new claims is expected to greatly reduce the volumes of new claims. However, we are in a good position to deal with any increases due to the changes made to the claims process in the first full lockdown period.
Numbers of staff allowed in the office has necessitated more people working from home and all Work Coaches have been issued a laptop to allow more flexible working.
DWP are on track to double its Work Coach resource from 13.5 k to 27k by March 2021, The changes will maximise time available with new and existing customers, yet support staff and customers with the many restriction Covid-19 brings.
In the main Jobcentre staff are all back to completing their normal roles, however in some cases, they may have taken on additional duties to support their colleagues.