Working for DWP

Information about applying for jobs with and working for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

DWP operates on a scale that is almost unmatched anywhere in Europe and most people in Britain come into contact with us at some point in their lives. We offer:

  • a wide range of interesting and rewarding careers
  • the chance to make a real difference to people’s lives
  • an excellent package of employee benefits

We lead on the government’s policies for welfare, pensions and child support. We help people to find jobs and employers to fill vacancies. We make payments to jobseekers, pensioners, disabled people, parents and carers. Our staff are currently implementing the largest changes in the welfare system for a generation, including the introduction of Universal Credit and the development of a ‘single-tier’ State Pension.

Most people will usually come into contact with the department through one of our businesses, such as:

  • Jobcentre Plus
  • Pensions, Disability and Carers Service

You can find out more about working for DWP in our recruitment information packs:

DWP recruitment information pack

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Jobcentre Plus recruitment information pack

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Pension, Disability and Carers Service recruitment information pack

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Jobs

All of our jobs are advertised on the Civil Service jobs website.

We recruit some graduates every year for the Fast Stream, the Civil Service’s development scheme for graduates.

Equality and diversity

DWP is committed to providing services that embrace diversity and promote equality of opportunity.

We offer a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled applicants who meet our minimum selection criteria.

We will not tolerate discrimination on the grounds of gender, marital status, sexual orientation, race, colour, nationality, religion, age, disability, HIV positivity, working pattern, caring responsibilities, trade union activity, political beliefs or any other grounds.

What DWP can offer you

Pay and pension

We offer a competitive salary and the opportunity to earn performance-related pay.

We also offer an excellent pension scheme. You can choose to join a scheme that provides pension benefits, which are based on pensionable earnings throughout your career and increased in line with the Consumer Prices Index (contributions are 3.5% of salary). Or you can choose a more flexible pension scheme which provides pension benefits based on contributions made.

Your rights, health and safety

You will have:

  • the option to join a trade union with pay negotiated on your behalf
  • access to an occupational health service and an employee assistance programme that includes counselling support, legal and financial advice 24 hours a day
  • free regular eyesight screening
  • the opportunity to join contributory healthcare schemes
  • the opportunity to take part in sports and leisure activities and join the Health and Social Security Recreational Association (HASSRA)

If you are disabled, we will provide the reasonable adjustments you need to do your job effectively.

Time off

We offer:

  • paid annual holiday of between 22 and 25 days depending on grade and length of service, rising to 30 days after 10 years service in all grades (pro-rata for part-time staff)
  • 8 public holidays and 2.5 privilege days holiday a year
  • special leave entitlements in exceptional circumstances
  • maternity, paternity or adoption leave
  • up to 5 years unpaid carer’s leave, if you have caring responsibilities

Learning and development

Our people are our most valuable assets. We develop and maximise the potential of each of our people by giving them the knowledge, skills and experience to do their job and for their career with the department. We offer comprehensive induction, learning and development opportunities, including internal and external leadership, management programmes and access to learning in the workplace through the Civil Service Learning website.

DWP has Investors in People accreditation.

Working Patterns

We offer a variety of working patterns including full-time, part-time and part-year working, depending on business needs. These options are designed to help you achieve a strong work-life balance.

What we expect from you

We believe that DWP offers you excellent opportunities and generous rewards. In return we ask that you:

  • provide an impartial and professional service to all DWP’s customers
  • contribute what you can to help the department improve and to provide value for money for taxpayers
  • take personal responsibility for your work, for maintaining good time-keeping and for working hard
  • keep the department informed if you are too ill to work
  • respect and support all your colleagues and customers
  • are flexible and adaptable in a changing working environment
  • are committed to continuous self-improvement throughout your service and keep up to date with changes in the department
  • dress in a professional and businesslike way, in keeping with the high standards that we expect to provide for our customers and the respect we have for each other – this standard applies across all DWP and individual businesses may have additional specific business dress requirements
  • comply with the Civil Service Code

How we recruit

A typical application process will involve the following stages.

1. Completing an online application form

Our selection process is based on competencies. These are skills and experience you may have gained in any area of your life, such as at work, home, school, in leisure activities or voluntary work. Most applications will ask you to give examples of how you feel you have met and demonstrated these competencies. We will let you know what these competencies are so that you can understand how to apply them and what they mean. You can read more about writing competency statements for a job application in our guidance.

Guidance on writing competency statements for a job application

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2. Completing an online test

If we have decided to use our online test in the exercise, we will invite you to take the test once we receive your application form. The job advert will tell you how long the test will be open for. You can take the test at any time from any internet-enabled device between the dates outlined in the advert.

During the test you will review a range of scenarios and questions with multiple choice answers. You will select what you think is the best answer for each scenario. There are no wrong answers but some are more suitable than others. You will have the opportunity to view example questions before starting the test. Once you have started the test, you must complete it in one sitting.

3. Attending an interview

If you are successful at the test stage, we will assess and rate your application form to decide whether to invite you for an interview.

You can find out more about preparing for the interview in our guidance.

Preparation for interview for external applicants

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We must wait until all candidates have been through the full process before offering any jobs. We aim to complete recruitment exercises within 12 weeks of the job advert.

4. Pre-appointment checks

If you are successful with your application, we will carry out certain checks before you can start work. Like all employers, DWP has to make sure that all its employees are suitable to work in our organisation and that they are allowed to work in the United Kingdom.

We have to check on your identity, age, nationality, employment record, character and right to work. We will ask for certain documents to help us do this.

We will write and ask you to complete the ‘character and criminal record declaration form’ to help us make these checks. You will need to save this form on your computer before you start filling it in.

Character and criminal record declaration form

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We may also cross-check the information you provide with information held on our own systems. To allow us to do this we may ask you to complete a consent form.

The checks can take up to 20 days to complete.

Our recruitment support pack has more information about our recruitment process.

Recruitment support pack

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Probationary period

If you join DWP on a permanent or fixed term appointment, you will need to serve a 6 month probationary period that we may extend for an extra 3 months.

We will usually expect new recruits for a permanent appointment to have stayed in their post for 2 years before applying for another post on promotion or level transfer.

Complaints

Our recruitment processes follow the principle of selection on merit based on fair and open competition as outlined in the Civil Service Commission Recruitment Principles.

If you feel your application has not been treated in line with these principles and you want to complain, you should first contact the person responsible for the recruitment exercise in DWP.

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from DWP, you can contact the Civil Service Commission.

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