DWP: Touchbase – Fri 9 July

Roundup of recent DWP announcements

Coronavirus Roadmap update

Step 4 of the Roadmap is expected to begin on Monday 19 July. This will be confirmed on Monday 12 July, following a review of the latest data.

At Step 4, the Government will remove all outstanding legal restrictions on social contact, life events, and open the remaining closed settings. The Government will instead enable people and businesses to make informed decisions about how to manage the risk to themselves and others.

This includes:

•            The legal requirements to wear a face covering will be lifted in all settings.

•            Businesses will be encouraged to display QR codes for customers to check in using the NHS COVID-19 app, although it will no longer be a legal requirement.

•            It will no longer be necessary for people to work from home and employers can start to plan a return to workplaces.

Special Rules for Terminal Illness Update

The current Special Rules for Terminal Illness which fast-track benefit applications for those with a terminal diagnosis of six months is to be replaced with a new 12-month, end of life definition.

The change will ensure that people in the final year of their life will receive financial support quicker than they can do at present, at a higher rate through revised Special Rules. The move ensures that clinicians still have discretion and are supported by a realistic and straightforward definition, consistent with current NHS practice.

Help to Kickstart a young person’s career

Are you ready to take on new talent or do you know an employer that can get a young person’s career started? Get involved in the Kickstart Scheme – read our new employer prospectus or attend one of DWP’s employer webinars to find out how Kickstart can help your business grow and provide life-changing opportunities to young people.

Could you help promote the Kickstart Scheme? Use the new Kickstart Scheme Communications Toolkit, packed with new assets, to help spread the word, get businesses signed up, provide life-changing opportunities to young people and help the wider economic recovery.

Hospitality briefing pack to help with recruitment

As the UK hospitality sector is beginning to thrive again and we open up in line with the Roadmap, we know the sector is looking for people to fill vacancies across a broad range of roles. We have partnered with UKHospitality on a short hospitality briefing pack to help businesses in the sector looking to recruit. This pack has been designed to help you speak to your networks to:

•            send a clear message to hospitality employers that Jobcentre Plus is here to help find the right candidates for any role

•            encourage jobseekers to apply to the sector now for a variety of jobs including front-of-house roles, where there is real opportunity for career progression and high quality training.

In-Work Progression Commission

An independent report from the In-Work Progression Commission on supporting people out of low pay was published on 1 July. The Commission identified barriers to progression and calls for businesses to lead the way while highlighting that there is also a role for Government to play.

DWP’s Secretary of State Thérèse Coffey commented: “I want everyone from any background to have the chance of a fulfilling and rewarding job with the opportunity to get on in life. Businesses need to lead the way and it is a win-win situation benefitting from higher skilled staff. This is how we build back better and fairer, with more investment in our jobs, more training and more opportunities.”

The Government will consider the recommendations and publish a response later in the year.

For more information contact the Progression Commission team: progression.commission@dwp.gov.uk

New Welsh language line for Child Maintenance customers

A free dedicated telephone service has been introduced for Welsh speaking customers of the Child Maintenance Service.

Customers who dial 0800 232 1979 between 9.30am and 3.30pm Monday to Friday, will hear all messages in Welsh without the need to select further language options.

Customers can manage their Child Maintenance case in Welsh online using the language format option. This service allows customers to access updates on their case, report changes and make payments.

Child Maintenance consultation

Our Child Maintenance consultation aims to make the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) quicker and easier to use through further digitalisation and by streamlining processes for businesses who provide information to the CMS. We propose changes to the way the CMS takes unearned income into account and to make it easier for self-employed paying parents to declare income changes.

We are keen to hear your ideas for further modernising our service.

We are also interested to hear your thoughts on the proposals and whether they strike the right balance between the interests of parents and children

The consultation will be available for comments until 6 August 2021. Child Maintenance: modernising and improving our service consultation