Roundup of recent DWP announcements
Plan for Jobs extension
The Chancellor recently announced a £500 million extension of Plan for Jobs support, including extending the Kickstart Scheme for young people and helping unemployed people over the age of 50 back into work. The plans also include measures for supporting those on the lowest wages to progress in their careers and an extension to some schemes into 2022.
- Extending the Kickstart Scheme for young people to find roles to March 2022, with applications from employers and gateways open until 17 December 2021
- Workers over the age of 50 to benefit from a new enhanced support package to help them to stay in and return to work
- Extending the Job Entry Targeted Support Scheme (JETS) to September 2022
Specific funding for each measure will be confirmed at the Spending Review.
Warm Home Discount Scheme for Winter 2021/22
The Warm Home Discount (WHD) is a government scheme that obligates the largest energy suppliers to credit a £140 discount onto the electricity bills of certain low income households.
Recipients of the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit will receive a letter by mid-December advising whether the discount will be paid automatically by their energy supplier, or if they need to contact the WHD Helpline by 28 February 2022 to confirm their eligibility.
The WHD Helpline opens on 18 October 2021 – Tel: 0800 731 0214.
A limited number of WHDs are also available to other low income households. Non-Pension Credit customers should contact their energy supplier for further information.
Keeping Communities Safe During Winter webinar
Community leaders have played a vital role during the pandemic. As the colder months begin to set in, a series of Keeping Communities Safe During Winter webinars will be held on Zoom by the Cabinet Office and UK Health Security Agency to support community and faith leaders, voluntary and community groups with their ongoing engagement and communications.
The next webinar takes place on Thursday 21st October at 3pm and, as well as providing an overview of the most up-to-date Government guidance, it will focus on engaging young people about vaccinations. Attending the Zoom webinar will give you an opportunity to:
- get the latest information from Government officials and hear from health officials on COVID-19 vaccine efficacy
- ask questions and discuss ideas for effective engagement, particularly with young people
- inform the Government about challenges, barriers and experiences in communities
There will be ample opportunity to ask questions. To submit a question in advance or if you have any questions about the webinar, contact Obaayaa Asantewaa or Pascoe Sawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continuing to meet your automatic enrolment duties
Employers’ automatic enrolment duties continue to apply as normal, so you will need to continue supporting your employees by meeting your ongoing legal duties. This includes paying the correct amount on time to your staff pension scheme. You can read more about what you need to do and by when in The Pension Regulator’s guidance for employers.
New one stop service for GOV.UK unveiled
Plans to make it easier for the public to access online government services via an app have been set out this week.
The plans mean that the public will no longer have to remember multiple usernames and passwords to access services such as free school meals, support for disabled family members and changing driver licence details in the future.
The new – optional – app will allow people to access services much more easily, instead of having to go through multiple online processes. It will give users the option to use the technology in their smartphones to quickly access government services online via GOV.UK.