To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has plans to issue guidance to job centres on conducting interviews online or by telephone as part of the introduction of Plan B covid-19 restrictions.
5 January 2022
Throughout the pandemic, Jobcentres remained open for claimants who required face-to-face support. From April, Jobcentres in England, Scotland, and Wales returned to their pre-lockdown opening hours and restarted face-to-face appointments, in accordance with government guidelines.
In line with current public health guidance, and with safety measures in place, Jobcentre Work Coaches are continuing to book face-to-face appointments for those claimants who are required to attend mandatory appointments as part of their conditions for receiving Universal Credit.
The frequency of interventions Work Coaches undertake with claimants is determined by the individual circumstances of the claimant, the duration of their claim, and the level of support required at that particular time. There is no target of face-to-face appointments a full-time Work Coach is expected to deliver in one day. Appointments are determined by the circumstances of each claimant and the type of meeting being conducted. Maintaining an effective Work Coach diary is a joint responsibility between a team leader and the Work Coach, and is managed collaboratively through regular discussion and agreement.
Our Jobcentre teams are committed to ensuring all claimants receive the best possible support to meet their individual circumstance. Jobcentre team leaders are responsible for assuring the quality services provided to individual claimants through a combination of observation of Work Coach interviews, feedback, coaching and appraisal.