DWP: Coronavirus Touchbase special – 17 July 2020

Roundup of recent DWP announcements

The UK transition

The UK has left the EU, and the transition period after Brexit comes to an end this year. Information is available on GOV.UK setting out the actions businesses and individuals need to take to prepare for the end of the EU transition period on 31 December 2020.

There is a checker tool with personalised advice, which identifies the steps people should take and encourages them to sign up for email updates.

Please help share this information with any customers you work with, in particular EU citizens in the UK.

Latest employment figures

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has published the latest employment figures from March – May 2020.

The figures showed 76.4% of people aged 16 to 64 were in paid work in March to May 2020. The unemployment rate was 3.9%, and the 16-64 economic inactivity rate (those who were neither working or looking for work) was 20.4%.

In last week’s Touchbase we updated you on the measures the Department is taking to support people with our Plan for Jobs, including:

  • £2bn for a Kickstart Scheme to provide high quality placements for young people
  • Doubling the amount of work coaches to 27,000
  • An Expanded Youth Offer to support 18 to 24 year olds, this will include a 13-week programme and further support to be provided through Youth Employment Coaches and Youth Hubs based in the community
  • £150 million to boost the flexible support fund

PM statement on coronavirus

Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement on coronavirus, where he set out further easing of restrictions including for the use of public transport and workplaces. The full speech is available here: PM coronavirus speech.

Measures to protect savers and the climate in Pension Schemes Bill

The Pension Schemes Bill has progressed through Parliament this week.

A headline measure in the Bill is mandating pension schemes to adopt and report against the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). The Bill will also require schemes to take the government’s net zero targets into account, as well as the Paris Agreement goals of limiting the rise of average global temperatures, for the purposes of managing climate risk.

The Bill, which cleared the House of Lords this week, will be taken through the House of Commons later this year.

Job Retention Bonus

Following the Chancellor’s announcement last week, employers could be entitled to a one-off payment of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021, if they have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The bonus will provide additional support to retain employees and employers will be able to make a claim from February 2021.

More information about this scheme will be available by 31 July and full guidance will be published in the Autumn.