The Department for Work and Pensions have seen, and anticipate further, increases in demand for services due to the Covid-19 pandemic and they need to be able to serve more customers to provide them with the support they need.
To achieve this, they will look to:
- optimise the use of existing estate;
- other organisations and other government departments to provide space; as well as
- explore potential options for new, temporary premises in locations where they expect increased demand.
They can confirm that a new temporary site at Bury Millgate Shopping Centre, BL9 0BX has been identified as suitable space to open a temporary Jobcentre and accommodate experienced and newly recruited Fixed Term Appointment (FTA) Work Coaches to deliver services to their customers from 21 April 2021.
Work Coaches working from all sites, including the new temporary sites, will be able to decide how best to engage with customers, and to choose the best and most appropriate channel. Work Coaches will use their knowledge of the customer and the local situation to decide whether or not this should be face-to-face, on the phone or online, bearing in mind the latest guidance on both social distancing and guidance on opening offices in line with the local Covid-19 alert levels.
The safety of their colleagues and customers remains paramount. Due to the economic impact of the pandemic, it is vitally important that the Department helps support both new and existing customers through these critical Work Coach roles. This will help ensure that our millions of customers receive the payments and help that they need and to ensure that they continue to support often the most vulnerable members of society.
‘Jobcentres return to pre-lockdown opening hours from 12 April – click on the link for more information. They will be closed for Easter on 2nd and 5th April. Anyone whose payment was due on 2nd or 5th April will receive their payment on Thursday 1st April.
A new Benefits Checker tool is available to give people a quick idea of what financial support they may be able to claim. It will ask a few questions then suggest help they are most like to be eligible for. Anyone wanting a more detailed understanding of the support that may be available can use a Benefits Calculator which takes longer to complete’. Information provided by Anne Gent, Partnership Manager, DWP. – Children’s Trust March 21