DWP: Touchbase – Fri 19 Nov


Roundup of recent DWP announcements 

Universal Credit changes

This week, regulations to make changes to the Universal Credit taper rate and work allowances were laid ensuring what was announced in the Budget comes into law on 24 November.

Work allowances, the amount a claimant can earn before their Universal Credit is reduced, will increase by £500 per year meaning many families will be able to earn over £500 per month before their benefits are tapered off. Simultaneously, the taper rate, the amount that a person’s Universal Credit is reduced by when their earnings are more than their work allowance, will drop from 63% to 55%.

Taken together, the changes mean almost two million families will be better off by £1,000 a year, on average.

We have produced a video explaining the changes to the taper rate and work allowances, and will share this in the next edition of Touchbase. 

Kickstart Scheme – boosting careers

More than 100,000 young people have been helped into work though the Kickstart Scheme, which is part of the Government’s wider Plan for Jobs.

To mark this milestone, we shared a Kickstart Scheme video which features some of the young people involved and we also have the Kickstart Communications Toolkit which includes downloadable assets. Please could you consider using and sharing across your own channels to help promote the Kickstart Scheme to young people.

If you need any advice or help with your Kickstart application, please get in touch with your Kickstart District Account Manager or your local Jobcentre contact. We want to make sure that available jobs have the best chance of being filled by eligible young people. You might also want to take a look at our ‘top tips’ for employers to support you in filling your vacancies.

Employers have until noon on 17 December to apply to the Kickstart Scheme, with young people being able to start up until 31 March. Find out more information about the Kickstart Scheme and closure dates.  

For more information, see the press notice

New videos for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children

DWP is committed to making communications clear and accessible to all. As part of this commitment, we have made four short videos about DLA for children.

They provide a clear and simple overview of the four stages of a DLA for children claim:

  • An overview
  • How to claim
  • After you have claimed
  • When a child turns 16

The videos are also available as British Sign Language versions using two translators having a conversation.

There are also Easy Read products. Easy Read is an alternative format for people with learning disabilities. It translates complex information into easy to understand images and text.  

Over 30,000 seasonal vacancies available on Find a Job

Jobseekers are getting help finding festive and seasonal roles in the run up to Christmas with the launch of a new page on the Government’s Find a Job website.

There are thousands of temporary jobs available, offering opportunities for those looking for work to gain experience and build skills – as well as bring in some extra cash over the holiday period. A temporary role can also help people get the experience they need when applying for future roles. 

Time is running out for customers with Post Office card accounts

From 1 December, HMRC will stop making Tax Credits, Child Benefit and Guardian’s Allowance payments to Post Office card accounts. HMRC is urging account holders to contact them to update their bank account details to continue receiving payments without disruption.

If a customer misses the 30 November deadline, their payments will be paused until the customer notifies HMRC of their new account details.

In September 2021, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced that it has agreed a 12-month extension for its customers who use a Post Office card account. If any HMRC customers also receive DWP payments, this extension only applies to DWP-related payments.

Find out more 

Working Minds campaign

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety, is committed to improving the health of workers and has launched a new campaign.

The Working Minds campaign brings together a range of tools and support to help businesses and workers understand the best ways to prevent work related stress and encourage good mental health.

Mental health is the number one reason cited for sick days in the UK and is on the rise. Even before the pandemic took hold, it was estimated that mental health issues cost UK employers up to £45 billion a year.

Find out more

Cabinet Office’s COVID-19 stakeholder toolkit 

As we pass the milestone of more than 13 million booster jabs, Cabinet Office have updated their COVID-19 toolkit for stakeholders and influencers.

Social media assets and key messages, as well as further information on how you can support the campaigns, can be found in the toolkit.