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Thomas Cook: Insolvency

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 1038, tabled on 7 January 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of reports that former Thomas Cook staff are having difficulties accessing and navigating the benefits system.

Answered on

14 January 2020

The Department is offering a range of support to anyone affected by the closure of Thomas Cook, through our Rapid Response Service (RRS) and wider services. This is designed to give practical support and advice to employers and their employees when faced with redundancy.

The RRS is delivered in partnership with a range of national and local partners, including National Careers Service and local service providers. It was mobilised for former Thomas Cook employees to help people find a new job as soon as possible by offering tailored and individual support. Each Jobcentre Plus district area deploys resources according to the local situation and the needs of their claimants.

In addition, Citizens Advice (England and Wales) and Citizens Advice Scotland continue to deliver ‘Help to Claim’ support to claimants making a new Universal Credit claim. Help to Claim have offered locally tailored support to former Thomas Cook employees in need of assistance face to face, and through prioritised telephony and web-chat channels.

The Department keeps information we provide surrounding redundancies under review. This includes how we explain RRS and entitlements to benefits such as New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit. We are committed to having the right level of resource in place to support and direct people to the correct benefit type.