DWP: Coronavirus Touchbase special – 25 September 2020

Roundup of recent DWP announcements

Kickstart Scheme gateways list

If your organisation or one of your members would like to take part in the Kickstart Scheme but have fewer than 30 placements to offer, DWP has published further advice together with a list of organisations across England, Scotland and Wales that have expressed interest in acting as a Kickstart gateway.

Kickstart gateways can apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant on behalf of a group of employers and will provide the support each young person needs to make a success of their Kickstart role, increasing their chances of securing sustainable employment in the future.

Find someone to apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant on your behalf.

The Kickstart Scheme is a £2bn initiative to help young people claiming Universal Credit, to move into the world of work. It forms part of a range of employment support initiatives announced in the Plan for Jobs in July.

If you would like to make an application to become part of the Kickstart Scheme, you can find information here.

Coronavirus measures

This week, the government announced further national measures to address rising cases of coronavirus in England.

Please can you share this update with your members and audiences via your channels.

New package to support and enforce self-isolation

From 28 September, people will be required by law to self-isolate if they test positive or are contacted by Test and Trace. To ensure that people on lower incomes are able to self-isolate without worry about their finances, people in work and in receipt of benefits will be eligible for a new Test and Trace Support payment of £500.

To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, an individual must:

  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because they’ve tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive;
  • be employed or self-employed;
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and

be currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

Local Authorities will be working quickly to set up these self-isolation support schemes and we expect them to be in place by 12 October. Those who start to self-isolate from 28 September will receive backdated payments once the scheme is set up in their Local Authority.

Winter Economy Plan

The Chancellor has outlined additional government support to provide certainty to businesses and workers impacted by coronavirus across the UK.

The package includes a new Job Support Scheme to protect millions of returning workers, extending the Self Employment Income Support Scheme and 15% VAT cut for the hospitality and tourism sectors, and help for businesses in repaying government-backed loans.