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Department for Work and Pensions: Conditions of Employment

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 73857, tabled on 14 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Chancellor’s summer economic update of 8 July, if he will take steps with Cabinet colleagues to bring forward a fair terms and conditions package for staff in the Department of Work and Pensions in response to the high staff turnover in that Department.

Answered on

22 July 2020

An Institute for Government report on Civil Service turnover, published last year, highlighted that overall turnover in large delivery departments such as DWP is much lower than other parts of the Civil Service, with a stable front-line workforce, in for example job centres.

In 2015, the Department secured additional pay flexibility that enabled us to begin to reform pay structures for grades AA to HEO. Over a 4-year period, 2016 through to 2019, pay increases above the limits set within the Civil Service pay guidance were provided, in exchange for AA to HEO employees agreeing to modernised terms and conditions to support the Department’s service transformation – the ‘Employee Deal’. The modernised terms and conditions, including improvements to working patterns and flexible working, enabled us to extend our operating and opening hours.

The work to modernise terms and conditions continues, further extending our operating and opening hours being one of the many things we are doing to modernise DWP, so that whenever customers need us we are able to provide a complete, end-to-end service that meets their needs as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an exceptional surge in demand for our services. In response, we have secured funding from HM Treasury to embark upon an exercise to recruit 13,500 work coaches in Jobcentre Plus before the end of this financial year.