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Department for Work and Pensions: Telephone Services

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 140738, tabled on 20 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the letter of 15 January 2021 from the Permanent Secretary to the Work and Pensions Committee, in each month from August 2020 to December 2020 how many call attempts to her Department’s debt management service (a) were made, (b) were blocked and (c) were not blocked but were not answered.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

27 January 2021

The table below illustrates the extent of the telephony traffic in Debt Management since August 2020.

Call attempts

Calls answered

Calls blocked

Calls not answered

August

153,800

102,400

22,200

29,300

September

282,100

127,900

101,600

52,600

October

221,800

147,500

41,800

32,500

November

605,300

149,600

413,700

42,000

December

278,900

122,600

129,400

26,900

January (to 11/01/21)

46,500

42,700

100

3,700

*Figures are rounded to the nearest 100

In November 2020, there was a temporary spike in the number of calls received due to the recommencement of debt recovery, following a pause due to the outbreak of Covid-19. It should be noted that the number of blocked calls does not represent individual customers and that the volume will be substantially distorted by repeat attempts.

We have since updated our telephone messaging and guidance for call handlers as well as redeploying trained staff from clearing work to answering calls.

In addition, DWP expects to deploy approximately 450 new staff to the network in the next three months.

Named day
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