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 making the largest changes in the welfare system for a generation, including the introduction of Universal Credit and the new State Pension.

Jobs

We advertise all our jobs on the Civil Service jobs website. Other routes into the civil service include:

Equality and diversity

DWP provides 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

We provide:

  • a competitive salary which is reviewed annually
  • the opportunity to earn an end of year performance award
  • an occupational pension when you join DWP

Employee benefits and rewards

Employee benefits and rewards include:

  • access to a DWP employee discount scheme
  • childcare vouchers
  • access to an employee assistance programme providing confidential advice, information and counselling
  • the option to join a trade union
  • an in-year award scheme for one-off exceptional personal or team achievements
  • sick leave on full pay, followed by half pay, up to the maximum allowed by the relevant scheme

Flexibility

Flexibilities include:

  • up to 30 days annual leave and 9 days public and privilege leave in a year (pro rata for part time staff)
  • maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave of up to 26 weeks full pay followed by 13 weeks statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid
  • time off to deal with emergencies, unexpected situations and certain other unplanned special circumstances
  • paid time off for public service duties, for example if you are an armed forces reservist
  • family friendly policies including flexible working patterns
  • flexible working hours, subject to business needs

Development and career opportunities

We offer:

  • rewarding and challenging jobs to help you develop and reach your potential
  • a comprehensive range of learning and development opportunities to help you develop your skills, knowledge and experience

What we expect from you

We believe that DWP offers excellent opportunities and generous rewards. In return, you have a responsibility to:

  • contribute to the department’s agenda, take personal responsibility for that contribution and show commitment and effort in the work you do
  • commit to improving your performance throughout your employment at DWP
  • ensure you understand, accept and comply with the Department’s policies and procedures
  • comply with the Civil Service code
  • be flexible and adaptable – for example, by changing your working pattern if there is a business need
  • treat colleagues and customers with respect and as you would want to be treated
  • attend work on time and stay in touch if you are not able to work
  • keep up to date with developments, changes and information
  • be committed to improving customer service
  • respect the confidential nature of the information you receive as part of your job

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.

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.