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7 January, 2021 Open access

Public and Commercial Services Union calls for suspension of all conditionality and sanction activity

In light of the new national lockdown, all Jobcentres should, as a minimum, immediately operate to the successful model introduced in Spring 2020, says union

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union has called for the suspension of all conditionality and sanction activity.

With the Prime Minister having announced a new national lockdown in England earlier this week, and similar announcements in Scotland and Wales, the PCS says that the government should be reacting now in the same way as it did in Spring 2020 in response to the first Covid-19 lockdown.

In particular, in relation to Jobcentres and Labour Market Activity, the PCS has written to DWP Employee Relations requesting an urgent response, saying - 

'In light of the ... national lockdown all Jobcentres, as a minimum, should immediately operate to the successful model introduced April-July, with offices being open to only the most vulnerable for face to face appointments.

In addition, an immediate request should be made to the minister for a suspension of all conditionality and sanction activity, as happened in April, with our priority being to get payments made to those who rely on the benefit system for financial support.'

NB - the union also asks that all other face-to-face activity should be suspended until further notice, including all fraud activity, visiting services, and National Insurance number interviews

For more information, see Covid Update - PCS demands response from DWP from pcs.org.uk