DWP: Coronavirus Touchbase special – 11 September 2020

Roundup of recent DWP announcements

Work Coach vacancies live

As part of our ongoing commitment to support the economy and help Britain back to work, thousands of new Work Coach vacancies are now live.

The department is doubling the number of front line workers who support people into jobs.

Sector-based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs) updated guide for employers

As announced in the government’s Plan for Jobs earlier this year, we are increasing the number of sector-based work academy programmes (SWAPs) aiming to support 40,000 jobseekers.

SWAPs help those receiving unemployment benefits to prepare for work with up to six weeks of training and work experience. All programmes are linked to genuine job vacancies and participants are guaranteed an interview at the end. SWAPs are run by jobcentres in partnership with employers.

Statutory Sick Pay extended

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) eligibility has been extended to patients who are advised to self-isolate ahead of surgery and who are unable to work as a result.

SSP is paid from day one for employees who are sick or self-isolating due to coronavirus for 4 days or more. Where someone is advised to self-isolate for 3 days prior to surgery, and they are unable to work on the day of the surgery, they would also be eligible for SSP.

This will support people to comply with clinical and public health advice and provide financial support while they are self-isolating and unable to work. The usual SSP eligibility criteria will continue to apply.

£11.5bn Affordable Homes Programme prospectus launched

The Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government has announced the next steps for the new £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme, to be delivered over 5 years from 2021. This week, Homes England has published its Affordable Homes Programme prospectus, inviting councils, housing associations and private providers to start preparing their bids.

Around half of the new homes will be available for affordable home ownership. In order to support people from all backgrounds, the rest will be made available for discounted rent, including 10% for supported housing – to support those with physical or mental health challenges.