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14 July, 2020 Open access

DWP confirms that it is testing 30 minute telephone appointments for claimant commitment interviews

However, Employment Minister also advises that Department is 'rapidly making provisions to return to face-to-face appointments with work coaches'

With conditionality and benefit sanctions being reintroduced from 1 July 2020, following their temporary suspension as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the DWP has confirmed that it is testing 30 minute appointments for claimant commitment interviews which are initially being conducted by phone.

Responding yesterday to a written question in parliament on the length of time being allocated for claimant commitment interviews, work search reviews and work-focused interviews, Employment Minister Mims Davies said that -

'As we re-introduce claimant commitments we are initially conducting these interviews by phone and testing a 30 minute commitment appointment. We will evaluate this testing and as with all policies we will keep this continually under review. Jobcentre Plus offices continue to remain open to help vulnerable claimants who may not be able to access support through the phone or their journal.

The work search reviews will continue with the timings of the existing intervention regime where work coaches have the option to pick from a range of appointment lengths'

However, Ms Davies also advised that -

'We are rapidly making provisions to return to face-to-face appointments with work coaches to support jobseekers as part of our reopening of jobcentre’s in line with public health guidance across the country.'

Ms Davies' written answer is available from parliament.uk