Jobcentre Guidance on New National Covid Restrictions
November 11, 2020
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DWP PRESS RELEASE 9 November 2020: On 31 October 2020, the Prime Minister announced that the Government will be introducing new national COVID-19 measures in England to protect the NHS and save lives.

This means from 5 November 2020 until 2 December 2020 in England, the following updated jobcentre guidance will apply to customers, and will ensure essential support is provided whilst keeping colleagues and customers safe.

  • Jobcentres will remain open, as they have throughout this pandemic, to provide essential services and support to those whom we cannot help in any other way.
  • We will ensure that this support continues to be delivered in line with the latest government and PHE guidance – such as maintaining social distancing and rigorous cleaning regimes – keeping our colleagues and customers safe.
  • Customers will continue to be supported by Work Coaches online and over the phone, with jobcentres remaining open to help those who need extra support and are unable to interact with us on the phone or digitally.
  • Our Work Coaches will continue to deliver employment support programmes such as Kickstart and JETS, by phone or through online channels.
  • Face-to-face assessments for disability benefits remain suspended.
  • If you think you might be entitled to a health and disability benefit, you should contact us as soon as possible to make a claim in the usual way.
  • For existing customers, payments will continue as normal. Anyone who has a change in their needs should contact us immediately so we can ensure they are receiving the correct level of support.

On 3 November 2020, we also confirmed that the suspension of the Minimum Income Floor – for self-employed customers claiming Universal Credit in England, Scotland, and Wales – has been extended to the end of April 2021. This means that self-employed customers on Universal Credit will receive a payment that reflects their earnings at this difficult time.

For Scotland:

On 2 November, the Scottish Government introduced a new five level tiered system. The following will therefore apply to jobcentres and customers in Scotland:

Levels 0, 1 and 2 guidance:

  • Customers will continue to be supported by Work Coaches online and over the phone, with jobcentres remaining open to help those who need extra support and are unable to interact with us on the phone or digitally.
  • All jobcentres to remain open – maintaining social distancing and regular desk and communal space cleaning in line with current Covid-19 guidance.
  • If you think you might be entitled to a health and disability benefit you should contact us as soon as possible to make a claim in the usual way.
  • For existing customers, payments will continue as normal. Anyone who has a change in their needs should contact us immediately so we can ensure they are receiving the correct level of support.

Levels 3 and 4:

  • For these levels, the jobcentre guidance in place for the new national restrictions in England until 2 December 2020 (above) will apply.

For Wales:

The Welsh Government introduced the two week ‘firebreak’ restrictions in Wales on 26 October 2020 that will last until 9 November 2020. The jobcentre guidance in place for the new national restrictions in England until 2 December 2020 (above) will apply during this period.

After 9 November 2020, the Welsh Government announced an easing of restrictions. From then, the following will apply to jobcentres and customers in Wales:

  • All jobcentres to remain open – maintaining social distancing and regular desk and communal space cleaning in line with current Covid-19 guidance.
  • Customers will continue to be supported by Work Coaches online and over the phone, with jobcentres remaining open to help those who need extra support and are unable to interact with us on the phone or digitally.

For Northern Ireland:

Please contact the Department for Communities for more information on measures introduced in Northern Ireland – 028 9082 9000.

A DWP spokesperson said:

Jobcentres have remained open throughout this pandemic to provide vital support and essential services to those whom we cannot help remotely.

These new measures will ensure that we can continue this support while keeping our colleagues and customers safe, following the latest Government and PHE guidance.”

Find Jobs Through Facebook

An article published by careers.govt.nz which is also relevant to UK job hunters.

Due to COVID-19 disruption, you may be wanting to find jobs wherever you can. Facebook is a good platform to use for job hunting because it’s an easy way to scroll through jobs and connect with people in the work area you’re interested in. Many recruitment agencies use their Facebook pages to promote jobs and Facebook itself has its own job search feature.

We spoke with Tony Cutting from Kumara Vine to find out how Facebook can help with your job hunt.

Building Communities Through Facebook

Kumara Vine is a website that celebrates Māori and Pacific people’s success in the workplace by sharing stories of achievement and promoting jobs to their whānau and friends.

Tony Cutting from Kumara Vine explains why they turned to Facebook to promote employment opportunities.

“Māori and Pasifika are known to be strong users of social media, and given that Facebook gives you the ability to build communities, we thought it would be a good vehicle to promote our jobs.”

With Facebook allowing the on-sharing of posts, many other people and organisations can easily be contacted and connected.

Clean Up Your Facebook Account

Most jobs promoted through Facebook will link you back to another website where you can find more information about the job and apply. However, it’s always important to check that your social media accounts and online behaviour are appropriate – especially if you’re using Facebook directly to job hunt.

“It makes good sense that your social media accounts are maintained to high standards as many employers will check them before deciding whether to interview you or not,” says Tony.

The public version of your profile can be seen by employers, but you can choose who sees your posts. Facebook also has a feature that lets you see what your profile looks like to people you aren’t connected with.

Check the Groups or Pages Before Joining

Despite Facebook being a great platform to find jobs that you’re interested in, you should be careful to avoid any dodgy pages or job advertisements.

“It’s important to make sure that any groups or pages that you join or follow are legitimate. That’s why at Kumara Vine we always link our social media jobs back to our website so people can see we’re the real deal,” Tony says.

Make the Most of Facebook’s Job Search Feature

Facebook has a feature just for job searching. Similar to other job recruitment websites, you can filter your job search to suit your location, industry or job type.