Job centre workers 'feel unsafe returning to work'

Job centre workers feel unsafe returning to work, union claims

4/19/2021 10:42:00 AM

Job centre workers feel unsafe returning to work, union claims

A union representing job centre staff says three in five feel unsafe interacting with the public.

PCS found that only 21% of staff surveyed could say for certain that they "felt safe" dealing with face-to-face claimant appointments in job centres across the UK.The union says the vast bulk of the in-person interviews for Universal Credit and other benefits should be done remotely.

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From 12 April onwards, the numbers of in-person interviews at job centres, particularly in the 18-24 age group, will be increasing.The BBC understands there are concerns that the government wants more people to visit job centres in person so they can be assessed for "conditionality".

The implication is that some people could see their benefits taken away from them, if they fail to meet certain behavioural conditions.Potential industrial action"These results reflect the anger and frustration our members feel every day," said PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka.

"Thousands of Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) staff have been providing support to claimants safely from home throughout the pandemic - the only logical reason they would insist on fully reopening is because management's obsession with sanctioning vulnerable claimants."

He added that the statistics collected by the union "should send a strong signal to ministers" that they needed to meet with staff soon "to avoid potential industrial action".A DWP spokesman said: "Throughout this pandemic, jobcentres have remained open to ensure we can continue to provide vital support to the most vulnerable. Our return to full opening hours will enable us to provide even more help and support to those who need us."

He added that the health and safety of colleagues was taken "extremely seriously"."[We] are absolutely committed to ensuring all our sites remain Covid secure in line with PHE and government guidance to keep colleagues and customers safe."

Read more: BBC News (UK) »

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Or more excuses not to do any work themselves ..? It’s a front facing job. Time to get moving back to normal. All jabs will be done by the end of July . A lot of us have worked public facing throughput the pandemic. Hiding at home has become the norm and not easy to break that crutch Judging by the amount out and about at the weekend I am starting to think this fear is just an excuse.

Maybe I'm missing something have they not had a year to back the job centres Covid safe? So lazy, from the article they just can’t be bothered to get dressed to go out to work, they want it all to be remote and phone calls. Some things need the face to face interaction. They need to just get on with life like the rest of us!

I'd take one of their jobs if they don't want to do it. Been working in a supermarket and been perfectly fine so am sure it would be set up well for them 🙄 the nasty party want the CAPITA/ATOS Gestapo back in the groove, claimants to kill off. Oh the poor lovies. I'm sure the supermarket workers and police and ambulance workers and firemen and utilities workers and all the other essential workers didn't feel safe but they did it nonetheless . Stop your whinging and get on with it. Snowflakes.

Try being at work for the last 12months on a face to face role...... Unions ... helping people in need! Pathetic

At least they have a job Bet they're not concerned with going to the pub or on holiday & mixing with hundreds of people are they 😡😡 Fire them, and then they'll need to go anyway! This is the most shadow banned account I’ve ever seen, 2.4 million followers and 5 likes per post