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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/touchbase-dwp-news-about-work-working-age-benefits-and-services/march-2020-touchbase-edition-140
The coronavirus action plan, a public guide to the UK’s plans to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
Jobcentre Plus arrangements over Easter
Jobcentre Plus opening times are different over Easter:
|Date||Easter opening times|
|Friday 10 April||Offices and phone lines are closed|
|Monday 13 April||Offices and phone lines are closed|
|From Tuesday 14 April||Offices and phone lines are open as usual|
To make sure people receive their payments on a day when Jobcentre Plus offices are open, arrangements have been made to make some payments early.
|Expected payment date||Date benefits will be paid|
|Friday 10 April||Thursday 9 April|
|Monday 13 April||Thursday 9 April|
If the expected payment date is not shown, customers will get their money on their usual payment date.
Recent changes to Universal Credit
The process for rebooking appointments has been improved by removing the need to cancel an existing appointment and then rebook.
Notifications for the claimant have been updated. Now it’s clear when an appointment has been rescheduled, and claimants will not receive multiple messages.
Domestic abuse support
The Government is reintroducing the Domestic Abuse Bill, a landmark opportunity to ensure domestic abuse victims are protected and supported earlier. It will introduce a new statutory definition of domestic abuse which includes coercive or controlling behaviour and economic abuse.
Support services are available at jobcentres to anyone experiencing domestic abuse include:
- private rooms available in most jobcentres
- jobcentres can temporarily remove the need to look for work
- if claimants have to temporarily stay in alternative accommodation but intend to return to their former home, they may be able to receive the housing element of Universal Credit for both their former permanent home and the temporary alternative accommodation
- help with opening up a new Universal Credit claim as a single person, which ex-partners do not have access to.
Reducing Parental Conflict: new services
As part of the Reducing Parental Conflict programme, 2 new projects have been launched to help parents reduce conflict.
Videos produced by Good Things Foundation and OnePlusOne show new ways of managing everyday conflict to produce positive outcomes for everyone in the family.
Action for Children launched a free digital service, Space For Us Too, that intervenes during early stages of conflict by texting advice to parents for handling and taking care of their relationship. It’s aimed at helping parents make steps towards strengthening their relationship and building positive lifestyle habits.
New Pension Credit campaign
A new DWP campaign launched this month on Facebook, in Post Offices and in GP surgeries, encouraging couples and individuals over State Pension age to check if they’re eligible for Pension Credit.
Pension Credit provides help to people on low incomes and could give them access to help with housing costs, council tax and heating bills. The campaign aims to get people to think about Pension Credit, as people with low incomes might be missing out.
Workplace pensions: automatic enrolment evaluation report
Automatic enrolment into workplace pensions started in 2012. Since then more than 10 million people have been automatically enrolled and over 1.6 million employers have met their duties. The opt out numbers for automatic enrolment have stayed below 1%.
Government makes finding business support easier
The government wants to make Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a business – a place where you can build on your ideas and find success.
Government is bringing various support schemes together in one place on the new Business Support website.
The website splits the support schemes into four areas:
- finance and business planning
- leadership and talent
- innovation and technology
Businesses can also contact the Business Support helpline for one to one advice.
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