Department for Work and Pensions
Jobcentre guidance on new national COVID restrictions
On 4 January 2021, 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 January 2021 until further notice, the following updated jobcentre guidance will apply to customers in England, 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 who 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.
- Work Coaches will be empowered to support customers through the best and most appropriate channels - whether online, by phone, or in person - 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 the Job Entry Targeted Support (JETs) scheme, 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.
On 4 January 2021, the Scottish Government announced they are moving to level five - the highest of their COVID tiered system. The jobcentre guidance in place for England above will therefore also apply to jobcentres and customers in Scotland.
On 28 December 2020, Wales moved into alert level four – the highest of their COVID tiered system. The jobcentre guidance in place for England above will therefore also apply to jobcentres and customers in Wales.
For Northern Ireland:
Please contact the Department for Communities for more information on measures introduced in Northern Ireland - 028 9082 9000.
Contact Press Office
Media enquiries for this press release – 020 3267 5144
London Press Office (national media and London area enquiries only – not questions about personal claims) 020 3267 5144
Out-of-hours (journalists only) 07623 928 975
England and Wales (local media enquiries) 029 20 586 then 097 or 098 or 099
Scotland (local media enquiries) 0131 310 1122
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