Frequently asked questions on work and coronavirus

Our prime minister has stated that no more than two people are allowed to gather in public, so why are DWP staff expected to work in offices with hundreds of people together?

PCS sympathises with you, but as many DWP staff have been classified as essential workers, members are still expected to go to work. It is therefore extremely important to follow all the recommended sanitary measures, and to ensure that social distancing is being observed in the workplace by management.

I want to work from home, but DWP does not have enough laptops. What can I do?

Our union is pressing for as many people to work from home as possible. We know that DWP is working to source more laptops.

I was sent home from my DWP job because I have Type 1 diabetes. How will this affect my wages?

You should be on special leave with full pay.

The jobcentre I work in has not put any social distancing measures in place, and no hand sanitiser has been provided, it seem no one is taken seriously, what can I do?

All jobcentres should now be closed to the public. PCS is demanding that sanitisers and desk wipes are provided immediately in all DWP offices.

Why are staff being made to attend DWP sites even if there is no need for them? Would it not be better to put staff on a reserve list, and bring them in as required?

Due to the huge increase in claims since the second half of March, we expect that staff who are not in crucial roles will be redeployed to help process and pay benefits. There have been about half a million new claims for Unemployment Compensation in the week starting 23 March alone.

I am a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) decision maker, and we have been told that all work is online. I have requested to work from home, but I have been told that DWP cannot offer this to operational staff, why not?

PCS is exploring how much work can be done online. There may be some security issues about working from home when it comes to decision making. We hope to have answers for you soon.

What is happening to protect staff at jobcentres? Hand sanitiser and wipes are not sufficient – it is impossible to stay 6ft away from a customer at all times.

Jobcentres should now be closed to the public. Please contact your PCS rep if that is not the case, whose details you can find by logging into PCS Digital. We are demanding that more sanitisers and wipes are provided across the DWP estate. We know that this has been an issue, because the DWP is trying to source these products at the same time as the NHS and demand is high.





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