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23 March, 2020 Open access

Public access to jobcentres to be restricted, with 10,000 staff moved to focus on processing new claims

Measures to be introduced tomorrow are part of the government’s effort to stop the spread of coronavirus

Public access to jobcentres is to be restricted, with thousands of staff moved to focus on processing new claims as part of the government’s effort to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The new measures, that are to be introduced from tomorrow, are designed to support people to stay at home and will mean that members of the public will not be admitted into jobcentres unless they are directed to do so and have a booked appointment. Only the most vulnerable claimants who cannot access DWP services by other channels will be invited to attend, with others urged to use online services first, keeping phone lines free for those who really need them. 

With a rise in new claims, and with demand for support over the phone increasing, the DWP says the restriction on access to jobcentres will enable it to move 10,000 existing staff to process new claims, to work alongside 1,500 newly recruited staff.

For more information, see Claimants are asked to apply online as jobcentres limit access from gov.uk