To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to implement social distancing in Jobcentre Plus branches.
14 May 2020
DWP is committed to paying people benefits and supporting our citizens at this time.
All face to face appointments have been suspended so that jobcentres are closed to the public except for in exceptional circumstances to minimise risk to the public and staff.
Where colleagues can effectively contribute to the department’s response working from home then they are doing so. Not all colleagues can work from home because they need to access equipment, programmes and support to enable them to do their telephony and processing work.
Measures are in place to ensure compliance with social distancing, including extensive communications, both through posters displayed in the office and on the department’s Intranet advising colleagues about how to work differently to ensure social distancing can be achieved.
We have also put in place a route for staff to escalate concerns to our regional Health & Safety teams. Cleaning regimes have been enhanced to include additional targeted touchpoint cleaning.
We will continue to follow Government guidance on social distancing and reflect best practice as the current situation evolves