Corona Virus

COVID-19 Update from the Department for Work and Pensions

Tuesday 7th April 2020

This information has been provided to UKATA from the Department for Work and Pensions:

Contents

  • Job Opportunities
  • Advice to Support Mental Health
  • UC Transition Fund
  • Touchbase
  • Job Retention Scheme - Updated
  • Right to Work and Rent
  • Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme
  • UC Landlord Engagement Newsletter
  • Provider and Supplier Queries
  • Local Authorities / Housing Benefit
  • Business Support Helpline Video
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Fast Track
  • Protection for Tenants - Scotland
  • National Minimum and Living Wage Increase
  • Frontline Worker Visas
  • Voucher Scheme for Schools
  • Retail Workers Facing Hardship
  • Economic Resilience Fund - Wales
  • Support for Voluntary Sector - Wales
  • Early Learning and Childcare - Scotland
  • Grants and Business Rates Package
  • Supporting Disabled People Through the Coronavirus Outbreak
  • Telecom Companies to Support Vulnerable

Job Opportunities

A number of businesses have suspended trading but some sectors are still recruiting, although in many cases these are short term rolling contracts, to help them cope with the current demand on their services. Where we are aware of vacancies we are asking the organisations to bulk upload to Find a Job and where possible we are highlighting these on the National Employer and Partnership Teams twitter account - https://twitter.com/JCPJobsPlusMore.

In the current climate digital is the way people will be able to find out and apply for jobs. If you are an employer who are letting staff go or furloughing them or a Trade Body with members impacted could you please signpost people to the Find a Job website and the twitter account so that they can find out about some of the opportunities that are open to them.


Advice to Support Mental Health

People struggling with their mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will be offered additional online support and practical guidance to help them cope. Public Health England has published new online guidance setting out principles to follow to help people to manage their mental health. It also includes steps that those living with serious mental health problems can take, including seeking support from their mental health teams.

Parents and carers will also benefit from tailored advice on how to support children and young people with stress during the coronavirus outbreak, which includes providing clear information, being aware of their own reactions and creating a new routine


UC Transition Fund

Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Universal Credit Transition Fund (UCTF) application process has been temporarily suspended. Please now contact your local organisations, to advise them of the temporary suspension and hold any applications already received. If you receive any further enquiries regarding the UCTF please forward to uc.transitionfund@dwp.gov.uk and we will respond. We have requested that the application form be removed from GOV.UK pages and a message regarding the temporary suspension will be published in its place


Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Businesses and Employers Bulletin

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) are producing a regular bulletin which provides information for employers and businesses on Coronavirus (COVID-19). All the guidance, information and announcements can be found on GOV.UK but the bulletins pull this in to one useful document. Anybody can sign up to receive the bulletin - to sign up click on this link and enter an email address. The Business Support website now hosts an archive of all Bulletins from 11 March 202


Touchbase

Touchbase is produced quarterly by DWP and is available on GOV.UK providing news and articles from across government for advisers, employers and organisations that help people find jobs. During the current Coronavirus Pandemic, it is being emailed on a weekly basis with the latest roundup of announcements to anyone who has subscribed. These editions are not being published on the Touchbase website at the moment. Anyone can sign up to receive these updates - to sign up click on this link and enter your details.


Job Retention Scheme - Updated

The guidance on GOV.UK has been updated on the 4 April with more information about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Note any questions about this scheme should be directed to HMRC.


Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

This scheme will allow small and medium sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, to apply to HMRC to recover the costs of paying Statutory Sick Pay to their employees. HMRC has published new online guidance which includes information about who can use the scheme and the records employers must keep.


UC Landlord Engagement Newsletter

The newsletter has been updated as DWP are currently unable to action requests to change the method of delivery of payment schedules to an electronic format.


Provider and Supplier Queries

All provider/ supplier questions can be sent to the following email address - ches.contingencyplanning@dwp.gov.uk


Local Authorities / Housing Benefit

Housing Delivery Division (HDD) have set up a dedicated team to ensure all Housing Benefit issues and questions relating to Covid-19 are logged, addressed and answered. All queries can be sent to a dedicated email address: uclocalauthority.liaisonteam@dwp.gov.uk


Business Support Helpline Video

The Business Support Helpline has created this video to outline the coronavirus support and guidance available to businesses, as well as answer frequently asked questions.


Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Fast Track

The Home Office and the DBS have put temporary arrangements in place, to provide DBS checks and fast-track emergency checks of the Adults’ and Children’s Barred Lists free-of-charge. This will apply to healthcare and social care workers being recruited in connection with the provision of care and treatment of coronavirus in England and Wales, including some of those who have volunteered to help the NHS.


Protection for Tenants - Scotland

Private and social tenants will be given increased protection from eviction during the coronavirus pandemic. Emergency legislation will increase the minimum notice period to up to six months depending on the grounds used, helping to protect them from eviction.


National Minimum and Living Wage Increase

The 2020 National Living Wage comes into effect on the 1 April, a 6.2% increase on the previous rate. Alongside the increase in the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage, further labour market reforms are also coming into place on 6 April, enhancing workers’ rights across the board. All of these are detailed in the story on GOV.UK


Frontline Worker Visas

Doctors, nurses and paramedics with visas due to expire before 1 October 2020 will have them automatically extended for one year free of charge. The extension will apply to around 2,800 migrant doctors, nurses and paramedics, employed by the NHS.


Voucher Scheme for Schools

Children eligible for free school meals will benefit from a national voucher scheme allowing them to continue to access meals whilst they stay at home. Schools can now provide every eligible child with a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 to spend at supermarkets while schools are closed due to coronavirus.


Retail Workers Facing Hardship

British Retail Consortium has joined forces with retailTRUST and RWRC to raise funds to provide the financial, emotional, physical and vocational support that will be desperately needed by retail workers and their families who may be ineligible for government support during the health emergency.


Economic Resilience Fund - Wales

A new £500 million fund to provide extra support to the Welsh economy, businesses and charities experiencing a sharp drop in trading as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The Economic Resilience Fund aims to plug the gaps in the support schemes already announced by the UK Government, including the Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, which will guarantee 80% of people’s wages and income.


Economic Resilience Fund - Wales

A new £500 million fund to provide extra support to the Welsh economy, businesses and charities experiencing a sharp drop in trading as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The Economic Resilience Fund aims to plug the gaps in the support schemes already announced by the UK Government, including the Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, which will guarantee 80% of people’s wages and income.


Support for Voluntary Sector - Wales

An initial fund of £24 million will support Wales’ voluntary sector in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. It will provide immediate support for Wales’ most vulnerable and help coordinate the thousands of willing volunteers wanting to help others during the current crisis.


Early Learning and Childcare - Scotland

Local authorities will no longer be legally obliged to deliver 1140 hours of funded childcare from this August 2020.


Grants and Business Rates Package

Thousands of high street firms are beginning to receive £25,000 cash grants and will be exempt from business rates from 1 April 2020. Also as part of a raft measures to support those affected by the coronavirus outbreak, eligible properties, including those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, will not pay business rates for the next 12 months. The measure comes into force today and will save firms in England £11 billion.


Supporting Disabled People Through the Coronavirus Outbreak

A joint statement from Justin Tomlinson MP, Helen Whately MP and Vicky Ford MP outlining how the government plans to support disabled people, their carers, and their families during the coronavirus outbreak.


Telecom Companies to Support Vulnerable

The UK’s major internet service and mobile providers (link is external) have agreed a set of important commitments to support and protect vulnerable. These include:

  • All providers have committed to working with customers who find it difficult to pay their bill as a result of Covid-19
  • All providers will remove all data allowance caps on all current fixed broadband services
  • All providers have agreed to offer some new, generous mobile and landline packages to ensure people are connected and the most vulnerable continue to be supported
  • All providers will ensure that vulnerable customers or those self-isolating receive alternative methods of communication wherever possible if priority repairs to fixed broadband and landlines cannot be carried out
Tags: Covid-19
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