5 January 2022

10 January 2022 onwards in Jobcentres

PCS met with DWP management today to discuss Covid and the control measures put in place in Jobcentres prior to the festive period were discussed.
Not back to business as usual

In light of the current Covid increase in positives cases (almost 219k yesterday) PCS continues to argue for safe working environments for all our staff and the public and will continue to press for the measures to remain in place. Any relaxation of measures put in place to reduce Jobcentre footfall, or attempts to get more back of house staff back into a Jobcentre would seem to be contradictory to the government’s position that Plan B is still in place

We therefore welcome the announcement by DWP that they are extending the timescale for the announcement made on  17 December. The department will still expect members to ring customers and deliver the script issued before Christmas and offer a telephone appointment rather than face to face if the customer agrees. This will be reviewed again on 26 January.

As a result managers should not be instructing staff to return to business as usual from 10 January. 

Important calls are made

We have reported to DWP that we are still getting inundated with reports from work coaches that they don't have the time to carry out the pre-calls and they are being refused support in making these important calls. DWP have confirmed that this should not be happening, and a collective effort is required to make these pre-calls. 

PCS repeats our advice that any work coach who doesn't have time to make these calls should contact their manager and ask that other arrangements are put in place to ensure the pre-calls take place. 

PCS will continue to prioritise our members' safety and the safety of our customers and seek to reach an agreed way forward with DWP. In the meantime, members can expect the above to be implemented and should report any failure by the employer to honour these commitments to DWP.