To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what her Department’s policy is on length of time to be allocated to benefit claimants for (a) first claimant commitment interviews, (b) work search reviews and (c) work-focused interviews; and whether those time allocations have changed from 1 July 2020.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
13 July 2020
As we re-introduce claimant commitments we are initially conducting these interviews by phone and testing a 30-minute commitment appointment. We will evaluate this testing and as with all policies we will keep this continually under review. Jobcentre Plus offices continue to remain open to help vulnerable claimants who may not be able to access support through the phone or their journal.
The work search reviews will continue with the timings of the existing intervention regime where work coaches have the option to pick from a range of appointment lengths.
The Department is continually assessing the service being offered to customers and we continue to keep staff numbers under review as part of our response to the impact of COVID-19 on the labour market. We are rapidly making provisions to return to face-to-face appointments with work coaches to support jobseekers as part of our reopening on jobcentre’s in line with public health guidance across the country.
We have already committed to increasing the number of Work Coaches and Case Managers and recruitment is already underway.