28 January 2022

PCS responds to DWP mass return to work

The union’s DWP group executive committee (GEC) met yesterday and agreed to demand urgent negotiations with DWP and press for a range of measures
  • No forced return to their workplace for members in roles not needed to be done from a DWP office
  • Full consultation to identify office-based roles 
  • Greater flexibility to work from home for vulnerable staff or those who care for vulnerable citizens
  • No forced face-to-face interviews, with autonomy for members and claimants to request a remote interview
  • An end to the pressure on jobcentre staff and back-to-back appointments in diaries
  • All non-front facing jobcentre staff to have access to work from home
  • A full joint review of current risk assessments and a commitment to actively seek PCS agreement on the processes used
  • Meaningful negotiations on access to hybrid working and greater flexibility to work from home, throughout DWP - including in front-facing roles
  • No mass return to the workplace, including hybrid working, until a sustained period of low infection and mortality rates has been achieved.

GEC members will be phoning your reps to get feedback on your strength of feeling. Your reps will be asked to hold meetings and take votes on your willingness to take industrial action over safety. The GEC will also be meeting the national union to discuss he practicalities of a DWP ballot. 

Big members meeting opposes forced return to work 

On Wednesday night 1,150 PCS members attended a lively Zoom/Facebook live meeting. In online polls the meeting voted as follows:

1.    Do you feel at increased risk returning to work – 92% voted yes
2.    Are you willing to take strike action – 86% voted yes

Tell us what you think – If you have any questions or concerns ask you local PCS rep - find their details on PCS Digital and tell us by emailing – leeds@pcs.org.uk