Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Cut to Universal Credit?

with 140 comments


Now as people here have, those on legacy Benefits never got the extra £20 a week.


But the bonus, or rather a small raise, is important to millions.

Boris Johnson raises fears he’ll cut Universal Credit by £20 a week for millions

Boris Johnson has dropped the strongest hint yet that he may cut millions of families’ Universal Credit by £20 a week in April.

The Prime Minister is facing desperate pleas not to remove almost a fifth of 5.7million people’s basic allowance.

But today he said he would “rather see a focus on jobs and a growth in wages than focusing on welfare”.

He added “the best thing is to get people into employment” – despite the fact 39% of the 5.7million people on Universal Credit in October already had a job.

Universal Credit was raised by £1,040 for the 2020/21 financial year to help with the impact of coronavirus.

This is the crucial bit,

Mr Johnson stressed any final rate was still under review – but refused calls to end the agony for families now.

He said: “I take your point. I think what we want to see is jobs. We want to see people in employment, we want to see the economy bouncing back.

“I think most people in this country would rather see a focus on jobs and a growth in wages than focusing on welfare.

“But clearly we have to keep all these things under review.”




Here our contributors concerns are raised:





Written by Andrew Coates

January 14, 2021 at 3:34 pm

140 Responses

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  1. Boris said ““the best thing is to get people into employment”

    What !! During a pandemic & lockdown restrictions !!!

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    January 14, 2021 at 3:39 pm

    • despite the fact 39% of the 5.7million people on Universal Credit in October already had a job.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      January 14, 2021 at 3:40 pm

    • He’s dreaming!


      January 14, 2021 at 4:08 pm

  2. Don’t forget the people on legacy benefits & the back payment of not having the £20 a week for ages.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    January 14, 2021 at 3:43 pm

    • “The government should have listened to Labour’s calls to up-rate legacy benefits to match the increase in Universal Credit, providing an immediate increase in Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment Support Allowance upon which so many are now reliant in this jobs crisis.”


      January 14, 2021 at 3:52 pm

    • They us about £750 so far.


      January 14, 2021 at 4:01 pm

      • *owe*


        January 14, 2021 at 4:02 pm

      • @trev- It’s suprising there has not been some sort of legal challenge on behalf of the legacy claimants.
        Many of whom are severely disabled, and simply cannot work. Yet they have had to watch healthy Universal Credit claimants get this £20 extra.

        Jeff Smith

        January 14, 2021 at 5:43 pm

      • Pity we can’t impeach Boris!


        January 14, 2021 at 6:04 pm

      • That is what will be next a legal challenge.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        January 14, 2021 at 7:11 pm

      • @ Jeff Smith

        The counter-argument will always be, whether you agree with the argument or not, that those on legacy benefits can terminate their claims and claim UC instead and get the increase.


        January 15, 2021 at 3:36 am

  3. “We’ve had the worst recession of any major economy and 23,000 people are losing their jobs every week. Yet rather than support people through this crisis Boris Johnson wants to hit family finances, with a triple whammy of council tax rises, pay freezes and social security cuts.”


    January 14, 2021 at 3:48 pm

  4. The Tories hate the whole notion of State Benefits, hence Boris is so dismissive of the issue. Economic growth and jobs is wishful thinking. I wouldn’t be surprised if Iain Duncan Smith crawls out of his hole to put his two-penneth in as well sometimes soon. They are too shortsighted to see that keeping people in poverty stunts economic growth. Give us more money and we’ll spend it, not hoard it in offshore accounts like the rich.


    January 14, 2021 at 3:58 pm

  5. Doris said he would rather focus on jobs and a growth in wages – probably workfare I suspect.


    January 14, 2021 at 3:59 pm

  6. A report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has found that the coronavirus pandemic is having “a disproportionate impact” on those already living in poverty, and calls on the government to make a £20 increase in Universal Credit permanent. We talk to some of the people who have had to rely on the benefit to get them through the pandemic.

    Scott Boerder, 38, moved to Warwick from Derby in late 2019 for a job in retail management but was made redundant.

    Then the pandemic hit and he hasn’t been able to find work.

    “I have applied for lots and lots of jobs but instead of ten people applying for a job, there’s 100 or 200 people”.

    Although his background is in retail he says he’s been looking for any kind of employment from warehouse jobs to security work to cleaning the streets.

    “I’m used to the working life where you have spare money,” he says.

    He has been on Universal Credit since October 2019, and admits it has been a struggle.

    “It is terrible – the first one or two weeks when you get Universal Credit, you are sort of okay, but the third and fourth week, you’re struggling.”

    “It doesn’t last – you’ve got your bills, your gas, electric, your TV licence, your water.

    “I can’t afford to have broadband, I’m on a pay-as-you-go telephone, I can’t afford to go to have a coffee at a coffee shop.”

    “Money is tight, you have to think about it every day.”

    He says that without food banks and the charity Christians Against Poverty: “I’d really be in trouble.”


    Andrew Coates

    January 14, 2021 at 4:22 pm

  7. Can somebody with a Twitter account give Marcus Rashford a shout and tell him. Get him on the case and he’ll set things right or I’m a Dutchman!


    January 14, 2021 at 4:33 pm

    • I knew they should have got Harry Potter in from the start, they would have listened to Harry Potter.

      Harry Potter says “Don’t put your wet wipes down the toilet”.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      January 14, 2021 at 4:40 pm

  8. DWP breached Equality Law = A big High Court DWP loss the case sanction in Human Rights Abuses for the DWP.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    January 14, 2021 at 4:37 pm


      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      January 14, 2021 at 4:41 pm

      • Guilty of Equality Laws which means guilty of Human Rights Abuses DWP.

        See your tax payer lawyers DWP for the next round of High Court Ceases the DWP need to defend.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        January 14, 2021 at 4:43 pm

  9. I though Marcus Rashford was the Prime Minister !!!

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    January 14, 2021 at 4:38 pm

    • I thought Marcus Rashford was the Prime Minister !!!

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      January 14, 2021 at 4:38 pm

      • Marcus ain’t no Tory!!!


        January 15, 2021 at 12:04 pm

      • I know Marcus Rashford is no Tory he is part of the Football Party.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        January 15, 2021 at 2:40 pm

  10. Will that f*cking arsehole still be banging on about getting people into employment when most of the nation is on benefits because there are no sodding jobs!


    January 14, 2021 at 5:23 pm

    • Iceland to create 3,500 new supermarket jobs to cope with lockdown surge

      The supermarket said it would hire 1,000 home delivery drivers, alongside 2,500 store assistants and online grocery pickers in a welcome move for the struggling high street


      January 14, 2021 at 5:36 pm

      • This is just the start

        Pimlico Plumbers to introduce ‘no jab, no job’ policy into all employment contracts

        Pimlico Plumbers founder Charlie Mullins said the company’s lawyers are drafting up new employment contracts for all 400 employees stating they must have a vaccine to work


        January 14, 2021 at 5:42 pm

      • Why would anybody in their right mind not want to be vaccinated against coronavirus?


        January 15, 2021 at 12:03 pm

  11. It’s obvious that the Tories really are going to do it. Cut the £20 from Universal Credit, and ride out the political storm that follows. And as for the legacy claimants, once again they are the invisible people of the benefit system.

    Jeff Smith

    January 14, 2021 at 5:34 pm

  12. Remember this

    Freezing temperatures trigger £25 cold weather payments: see if your postcode qualifies

    Thousands of households could be due a £25 rebate on their energy bills as temperatures plummet to zero across the country – enter your postcode below to find out if you qualify



    January 14, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    • You have to be in receipt of certain Benefits, ordinary unemployed don’t get cold weather payments, I’ve never had one.


      January 14, 2021 at 6:08 pm

  13. To cut or freeze benefit to pay for useless programmes like the Work Programme and Health and Work Scheme just adds injury to insult as far as Britain’s poor are concerned.


    January 14, 2021 at 5:58 pm

    • Oh yes, they’ll waste public money hand over fist to pay for that useless shite.


      January 14, 2021 at 6:10 pm

    • It’s costing them a fortune propping up businesses that they’ve put into lockdown.


      January 15, 2021 at 3:47 am

  14. Headteacher sets up fruit and veg stall outside school to help struggling families

    Supported by local businesses and generous parents, a fruit and veg stall has been set up at Clevedon School in North Somerset to ensure pupils do not go hungry during the coronavirus lockdown



    January 14, 2021 at 6:02 pm

  15. Reblogged this on Tory Britain! and commented:
    Being one of those on Legacy benefits I haven’t had the £20 week rise and it would have helped us out so much.
    The disparity between legacy and newer style benefits is ideological with no obvious reasons for the difference except to deny legacy holders of the uplift.


    January 14, 2021 at 6:44 pm

  16. Boris has now got an e-scooter.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    January 14, 2021 at 7:12 pm

  17. If they want to boost the economy just give everyone in the country a couple of grand each. It would be more effective than QE.


    January 14, 2021 at 9:24 pm

  18. superted

    January 14, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    • If only people had voted Labour, we’d have free internet, UC would have been scrapped and replaced with Basic Income courtesy of Mssrs. Corbyn & McDonnell, hate to say I told you so but no one listened to me, they all shot themselves in the foot and stabbed the rest of us in the back by voting Conservative.


      January 14, 2021 at 9:44 pm

      • Andrew Coates

        January 14, 2021 at 9:53 pm

      • Yep. Jacob Rees-Mogg was asked during a television interview what social protections British workers might have removed after leaving the EU and the one he picked was the right to refuse to work for more than 48 hours a week when asked to by employers. Probably data protection for benefit claimants will be the next area of trim. The DWP have already announced that they want to be able to monitor in real time the bank accounts of Universal Credit claimants as far as deposits are concerned, in much the same way they do in respect to earnings via HMRC to recalculate entitlements monthly.


        January 15, 2021 at 7:35 pm

      • I was rejected by an agency because I declined to sign a waiver to work more than 48 hours, they were really puzzled by the fact that I didn’t want to work 60 hours a week! That was a couple of years ago. I did have a job that involved working over 60 hours a week but that was 30+ yrs ago when I was in my late 20s. You can’t do those sort of hours when you’re over 50 ffs!


        January 15, 2021 at 8:43 pm

  19. The real situation in Hospitals. the majority have had enough, the minority are losing, weather you like it or not!!.

    PPE-wearing NHS staff protest outside No 10 chanting ‘Boris Johnson must go


    Boris Johnson ‘faces leadership threat’ unless he charts route out of lockdown



    January 15, 2021 at 6:18 am

  20. No jab no job.


    January 15, 2021 at 11:54 am

    • Why would anybody forced to visit umpteen stranger’s homes on a regular basis, and is therefore much more at risk of contracting Covid-19 or one of its variants, not want to be vaccinated against coronavirus for goodness sake? The more people vaccinated the fewer coronavirus patients occupy hospital beds and sooner those stalled on waiting lists can have the operations, therapies and treatments they need. Win-win.


      January 15, 2021 at 12:02 pm

  21. You will still have to wear the mask and do social distancing so it won’t be very effective.


    January 15, 2021 at 12:36 pm

  22. Rishi Sunak faces Tory revolt over plan to cut Universal Credit by £20 a week

    Red Wall Tories urged the Chancellor to keep the temporary uplift until lockdown ends – as Labour plans to force a Commons vote to make the boost permanent



    January 15, 2021 at 1:38 pm

  23. One off £500 payments for those told to self-isolate due to Covid-19 extended until April



    January 15, 2021 at 1:40 pm

  24. Philippa Day: DNS wins legal fight with DWP over ground-breaking release of secret report into benefit death

    by John Pring on 14th January 2021 Disability News Service

    Disability News Service (DNS) has won a ground-breaking legal battle with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over the release of a secret government report into the death of a disabled benefit claimant.

    A DWP barrister told an inquest yesterday that the department’s attempt to prevent the publication of the draft internal process review (IPR) was “not some kind of cover-up”.

    But Gordon Clow, assistant coroner for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, ruled this morning (Thursday) that he would release the document to DNS.

    DNS had asked the coroner holding the inquest into the apparent suicide of Philippa Day, from Nottingham, to agree to release key documents that are set to be used as evidence.

    One of those documents is the draft IPR completed by DWP in the months following the 27-year-old’s death in October 2019.

    Philippa had been diagnosed with type one diabetes when she was 18 months old, and later with emotionally unstable personality disorder, anxiety, depression and agoraphobia.

    The inquest, which is set to continue into next week, has already heard repeated evidence of DWP’s failings from Philippa Day’s family, the mental health professionals who worked closely with her, and DWP staff (see separate stories).

    Those mental health professionals had tried repeatedly to persuade DWP and its private sector contractor Capita to restore benefits that had been wrongly removed from her, and then ensure that she did not have to attend a face-to-face interview in a personal independence payment assessment centre.

    Philippa appears to have taken her own life soon after learning that she would be forced to attend that assessment, a prospect that had left her “highly distressed” and even terrified.

    DWP has been fighting since August 2014 to prevent the release of any of the scores of IPRs (previously known as peer reviews) carried out following the deaths of benefit claimants like Philippa over the last decade.

    It eventually was forced by a tribunal in 2016 to release heavily-redacted versions of these documents, but they reveal only the recommendations made by the reviews.

    But DNS learned that the legal team representing Philippa Day’s family – solicitors at Leigh Day and barristers at Doughty Street – had secured an unredacted copy of the draft IPR into her death.

    The family this week supported the bid by DNS for the coroner to release the IPR, and internal reports prepared by its private sector contractor Capita.

    DNS editor John Pring* addressed the inquest yesterday (Wednesday) and told the coroner that the IPR should be released “in the interests of transparency and accountability”.

    He said this was particularly important “because the issue relates to whether their actions and/or policies are causing or contributing to the deaths of disabled people claiming benefits”.

    He said the draft IPR was an “important historical document that will help to cast a light” on the government’s welfare reforms.

    Pring said he believed that no IPR or peer review had ever previously been released outside DWP, even to the families of benefit claimants whose deaths have been closely linked to the department’s failings.

    Simon Hilton, a barrister representing DWP, suggested to the coroner – mistakenly – that DNS would be able to secure a copy of the completed IPR into Philippa’s death through the Freedom of Information Act, which he said DNS had previously used successfully to secure such documents.

    But DNS told the coroner that that was not true, as DWP was continuing to prevent the release of all but the recommendations of anonymised IPRs.

    This means it is impossible to identify from these heavily-redacted documents which claimants they refer to.

    Hilton said in response that it was possible he had misunderstood his instructions from DWP, and told Pring: “This is not some kind of cover-up, which is what you appeared to be implying earlier.”

    Hilton also suggested that those reading news stories about the draft IPR would not realise that the recommendations were only in draft form, and that the final recommendations – which might impact on future government policy “in the benefits arena” – were “still being developed” and might yet change.

    He also questioned how seeing the document would help in reporting the case and said it was “invidious and undesirable” that the draft IPR should be reported on, other than any mentions which occurred during the inquest.

    Pring told the coroner that he would stress in any news stories that it was a draft document, and said that he trusted his readers to know the difference between draft and final reports, and was “disappointed that the DWP would not share that view”.

    Sam Jacobs, a barrister representing the Day family, backed the DNS bid and told the coroner: “It is the family’s strong view that these documents should be disclosed in the interests of accountability and transparency.”

    He said there was a “very significant public interest in understanding how DWP identifies whether there are problems in its systems” and “how quickly it is able to rectify those problems”.

    The coroner said this morning, in delivering his decision: “In Philippa Day’s case, it is arguable that there was a breach by the state of its general duty to put systems in place which protects the lives of its citizens.

    “It is also arguable that there was a breach of a duty which arose to take specific steps to seek to ameliorate the risk of Miss Day taking her own life.

    “These are important matters and they therefore weigh in favour of the press being assisted in exercising the right to freedom of expression by access to a copy of evidence which has been presented within the inquest.”

    He added: “I agree with the point advanced by Ms Imogen Day, sister of the deceased, that there is legitimate public interest in the press reporting as to whether or not the DWP operates in such a way as to avoid harm being suffered by persons with significant mental health problems.”

    He concluded: “The reason for [Pring’s] request is to report on this inquest.

    “It is in the public interest for this reporting to be facilitated and it is not contrary to the public interest for this report, notwithstanding that the findings and conclusions may change over time, to be provided to a member of the press to assist in the public’s participation in this inquest.”

    He also noted that DWP had initially resisted releasing the IPR to him as the coroner.

    The IPR – apart from one paragraph that is not relevant to the inquest and relates to proposed government policy, and so will be redacted – and an incident report prepared by Capita will be released to DNS at the point they are introduced into evidence during the inquest.

    The coroner said that he had reserved his decision on whether to release another Capita report.

    The inquest continues.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    January 15, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    • The DWP say it is not a cover up or a stitch up.

      DWP has been fighting since August 2014 to prevent the release of any of the scores of IPRs (previously known as peer reviews) carried out following the deaths of benefit claimants like Philippa over the last decade.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      January 15, 2021 at 2:46 pm

      • 2010 – 2021 DWP State Sponsored Murder.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        January 15, 2021 at 2:47 pm

      • Capita get a big DWP bonus.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        January 15, 2021 at 2:47 pm

      • The DWP has law suits against them stacked up to 2030 with the DWP defence lawyers at courts.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        January 15, 2021 at 2:49 pm

      • So the Green & White Paper on disability from the cabinet’s Disability Unit is put on hold then !!!

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        January 15, 2021 at 6:36 pm

      • The inquest continues for the DWP. Now shut up DWP your litigation gagging order while we continue……..

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        January 15, 2021 at 6:38 pm

      • Are the DWP using the Mandatory Reconsideration Appeal System where a DWP Decision Maker Decides the out come of the court case !!!

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        January 15, 2021 at 6:42 pm

      • Does that not use up more Tax Payers money appealing for the DWP !!!

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        January 15, 2021 at 6:44 pm

      • Are we not using DWP Lawyers when the Equality Commission is taken court ?

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        January 15, 2021 at 6:46 pm

      • The DWP are not trying to Stitch Up or Cover Up the Equality Commission. Said a DWP Spokesperson with no name.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        January 15, 2021 at 6:48 pm

      • We are getting there. See Below.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        January 15, 2021 at 6:49 pm

      • The Care & Duty for the DWP seems to be lost thinking they run the Equality Commission & so run the Equality Laws like the Disability Unit running Disability so the DWP can get Disability Confident when getting taken to court everyday. If have to be vetted to go to a food bank, you get vetted going for a WCA, disabled people have to be vetted to join the Governments Disability Unit & the vetted appeal system mandatory reconsideration. That is a very uneven playing field lets level it out. You can’t have your disabled eton mess cake & eat it, the Oxford tables have turned.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        January 15, 2021 at 6:57 pm


    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    January 15, 2021 at 2:50 pm

  26. Boris Johnson plots workers’ rights ‘wrecking ball’ – all the times he said they were safe

    Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng – who in 2012 said Brits “are among the worst idlers in the world”, working “among the lowest hours” – today insisted “we are not going to lower the standards of workers’ rights”.



    January 15, 2021 at 3:19 pm

    • Remember when the new Tory Business Secretary called Brits ‘worst idlers in the world’ it’s true of some isn’t it.

      Mr Kwarteng today has insisted that the Government wants to improve workplace protections – not reduce them – here is what he’s said in the past



      January 15, 2021 at 3:23 pm

      • When Kwarteng has put in a day’s graft on a building site mixing concrete all day, putting in footings, or shovelling tons of hardcore for a pittance, or working a 12 hour shift in a Weaving shed with no tea breaks, I might listen to his accusations about idlers. Until then he can STFU.


        January 15, 2021 at 3:35 pm

  27. What point is there in threatening people with sanctions for not “actively seeking work” when they can’t enter a Jobcentre without an invitation, are supposed to stay at home except to see to essential actions like getting food etc., can go for recreation locally alone or socially distanced with one other person, and when libraries and pretty much all other public and private venues are closed? How the hell can anybody reasonably be expected to look for work under those conditions?


    January 15, 2021 at 4:05 pm

    • they do not care if you find a job or not there main goal is to end the claim anyway they can with conditionality and sanctions providers and workfare and bullying.

      if you think a 35hr job search is bad try do 16hrs per day id not put it past them just to try it but at the end of the day it is a expectation and not the law.


      January 15, 2021 at 4:14 pm

      • @superted

        What do you think DWP are going to do about claimants who decline to have the vaccine? Will they be allowed back into the Jobcentres do you think? Will they be referred to a DM, I wonder!

        As I understand it, the effects of this jab are going to last five months. It’s better than nothing, but still.

        jj joop

        January 15, 2021 at 4:48 pm

      • if they cant force you to give them a email address or phone number they have no chance of enforcing that unless the law is changed.

        rna vaccines have never been licensed for human use b4 yet not 1 msm news site reports this fact and why i will not take it.

        i dont even think there allowed to even ask you if you had it or not as personal information same as above.

        tho im sure the cc will have a crap load more nonsense added to them but i cant see them being open any time soon anyway.


        January 15, 2021 at 5:01 pm

      • Theoretically there has to be informed consent to any medical procedure, test, medication, unless you are sectioned under the mental health act. Even then while being made to take mental health drugs, you may still be allowed to refuse other tests. However this has not been the case for many women, who have been denied care until they screen for female cancers, where doctors are paid financial incentives if they “persuade ” enough women to “accept ” their ” invitations ” to such screening


        January 16, 2021 at 3:50 pm

      • So as soon as you get the first vaccination you’re good to go are you? As soon as a majority of the population have the first jab they can go about their business without much risk and no risk apparently of ending up in hospital? How actually are we going to return to normal. (Or should it be new normal?) If you need a booster vaccination before you are fully protected and have to wait a few months before getting it, surely that must mean that the current lockdown will have to be maintained for months and months until a majority of the population have had both jabs and herd immunity kicks in for enough people?


        January 15, 2021 at 7:29 pm

      • pretty much the same as painting a bridge by the time you get to the end its time to go back to the start and do it all over again.

        but as theses vaccines have never been licensed for use b4 there is no long term data so know one knows what is going to happen.

        so i am not taking part in there test i am not a lab rat to be tested on so will take my chances without it thanks.


        January 15, 2021 at 7:42 pm

    • @ Aleister

      It’s complete madness, total insanity, unreasonable in the extreme, but that’s the Tories for you, and that’s what people voted for just because they wanted to “get Brexit done” or they believed the anti-Corbyn propaganda. And/or originally because the LibDems betrayed us by climbing into bed with the Tories, enabling the Welfare reforms in the first place (that Miliband’s Labour abstained from voting against – another betrayal) and the rest is history…and now we’re stuck with it, a dysfunctional Social Security system with a shredded safety net.


      January 15, 2021 at 4:56 pm

  28. Safety in Lockdown
    15 Jan 2021
    Wales was already in lockdown and further restrictions have now been brought in for national lockdowns in Scotland and England. The campaigning by education unions has now ensured that politicians have included the schools in these latest lockdowns given how fast the new variant of covid-19 has been spreading amongst young people

    Soaring covid-19 rates
    Despite the lower staffing levels and the bank holidays over the festive period we have seen a huge number of positive covid-19 cases in our workplaces with well over 200 reported to the national health and safety team and countless other staff who have had to have tests or self-isolate because they have been in contact with people with covid-19. We will keep highlighting the numbers of positive cases which do not seem to get recorded at national level so the real figure could be higher. Lots of offices have had more than one case and we have seen outbreaks indicating that there has been transmission of the virus within the workplace. An outbreak is defined as two or more positive cases among individuals in a workplace with illness onset dates within 14 days and either

    1 – identified direct exposure between at least 2 of the test-confirmed cases in that setting (eg any face to face contact within 1 metre or 15 minutes spent within 2 metres) during the infectious period of one of the cases or

    2) – when there is no sustained local community transmission – absence of an alternative source of infection outside the setting for the initially identified cases.

    The end of an outbreak is deemed to be after there are no further positive cases with the illness onset date in the last 28 days in the workplace.

    We have raised in a previous bulletin that ventilation should also be discussed in the case conferences following positive cases in a workplace and the risks of airborne transmission in poorly ventilated workplaces even where everyone is 2m apart at all times. The more staff in a workplace, the higher the risk in not having good ventilation. Good hygiene and cleaning levels are also vital in every workplace. The new variant of Covid-19 is more easily transmitted and this needs to be taken into account. All of these issues should be fully discussed to review the risk assessment as it will not always be clear how workplace transmission may have happened but all of these could be factors and are highlighted in the 2nd part of the definition of a covid-19 outbreak in a workplace. Senior managers seem to want to expend more energy in denying a number of cases are an outbreak rather than properly addressing the issues that may have caused an outbreak in the workplace.

    Safety of staff and claimants must be paramount
    PCS is continuing to campaign for our members to be able to comply with the government instructions to stay at home. Apart from the very small numbers of staff who are needed to deal with the vulnerable claimants who cannot access our services any other way, all the other jobs that are needed to be done during the lockdown can be done from home. It is incredible that 10 months into the pandemic we still do not have IT kit supplied to all DWP staff.

    The JCFRA should be reviewed in the light of the new restrictions and the increased risk with the new covid-19 variant. Reps should ensure that the minimum safe staffing levels recorded in the JCFRA reflect the current situation where we will only be seeing the vulnerable claimants face to face. The minimum staffing levels should be discussed with PCS safety reps as this is one of the control measures to reduce the spread of covid-19 in the jobcentres. Reducing the staffing levels to the minimum needed means that the largest number of staff can work from home at the same time. Rotas can be used to share the work in the Jobcentre between a pool of staff. Staff with underlying health conditions or personal circumstances which put them more at risk of covid-19 should be able to work from home throughout. Circumstances may have changed since the first lockdown so members should be encouraged to highlight any issues with their team leader that impacts on their safety travelling to or in being in the workplace.

    Management should be working with PCS to ensure as many staff are able to work from home as possible. PCS is arguing that all staff who have been provided with laptops or mini-PCs should be able to work from home immediately. This should include all those on blended working pilots and on training or consolidation. We should not have staff sat in offices doing work that can be done remotely when they have the kit to be able to work safely from home. The support for new staff is being done remotely whether it is someone sat in the same room as you or in a different building.

    The less people in workplaces the safer the workplace is.

    Case Conference following positive cases
    Union safety reps should be invited to these meetings and we have highlighted that where there are no union reps present this could also indicate a general reluctance and failure to consult PCS and potential poor adherence to any of the H&S guidance and legislation. Branches should challenge where reps are not invited to the case conference meetings and escalate the problem to the regional or nation H&S Officer.

    At the meetings there should be a genuine dialogue about what may have caused the cases in the workplace and any potential for transmission in the workplace and what needs to be done to address any issues. The focus should be on preventing the spread of covid-19 any further and doing everything to prevent this. It is better to err on the side of caution and be proactive in introducing measures that stop the spread rather than having to take even more disruptive measures further down the line following more cases. The numbers of suspected cases should inform decisions as well as the circumstances around the staff who have already tested positive. There seems to be a worrying tendency to put forward the least possible control measures rather than discuss the best most effective measures from the outset. The local knowledge about sites is vital to be raised in these meeting about how staff interact together, how they share facilities and access their parts of the building. Even if the cases under discussion are only in one part of the building the potential impact on the site should be considered.

    If branches have any concerns about the way issues have been addressed in these meetings they should raise formally with local management and escalate to your regional or nation H&S Officer.

    Escalation Routes
    As well as the support you can get in your branches and from your regional or nation officers, serious issues can also be escalated to our health and safety negotiators at Group level when they need immediate attention. We have agreed a fast track process with the senior managers where group negotiators can raise urgent issues directly with them to get problems resolved. Your branch should let your regional or nation H&S officer know at the same time that you have escalated an issue nationally to keep everyone in the loop.

    Further H&S procedures
    Reps should keep up to date with the H&S advice being issued by the national union and the DWP Group to respond to the safety issues facing our members. The Group Health and Safety negotiators will give advice and support to branches considering more formal H&S measures.

    Union Inspection Notices
    Where there are issues that management are failing to address and do not pose and imminent and serious risk to members, branches can issue a Union Inspection Notice (UIN). The UIN is a formal notice issued to an employer by an accredited trade union safety representative. The UIN registers the view that the employer is not complying with health and safety legislation in respect of an identified workplace hazard; it describes the action which should be taken to comply with the law, and specifies a date by which the actions should be taken. It is not an enforcement notice, but can be used as evidence by the enforcement agencies.

    Non-compliance with H&S measures have been reported by staff to the HSE which has resulted in a number of inspections of DWP workplaces taking place. Whilst the findings of the Quarry House inspection were used to improve measures in workplaces, this route is not as effective as it should be. Where there are issues in workplaces the internal escalation route should be explored to see what can be resolved first within DWP.

    Serious and Imminent Danger.
    The government’s health protection legislation passed in March 20 classified covid-19 as a serious and imminent threat to public health which is posed by the incidence and spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

    Any issues that could come under the category where members are faced with serious and imminent danger must be escalated immediately to group office for support.

    In certain circumstances employees are protected by law if they decide that their work situation represents a threat of “serious or imminent danger” and as a result of this belief they remove themselves to a place of safety.

    The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 Reg 8 reads as follows

    Procedures for serious and imminent danger and for danger areas

    8.—(1) Every employer shall—

    (a)establish and where necessary give effect to appropriate procedures to be followed in the event of serious and imminent danger to persons at work in his undertaking;

    (b)nominate a sufficient number of competent persons to implement those procedures in so far as they relate to the evacuation from premises of persons at work in his undertaking; and

    (c)ensure that none of his employees has access to any area occupied by him to which it is necessary to restrict access on grounds of health and safety unless the employee concerned has received adequate health and safety instruction.

    (2) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (1)(a), the procedures referred to in that sub-paragraph shall—

    (a)so far as is practicable, require any persons at work who are exposed to serious and imminent danger to be informed of the nature of the hazard and of the steps taken or to be taken to protect them from it;

    (b)enable the persons concerned (if necessary by taking appropriate steps in the absence of guidance or instruction and in the light of their knowledge and the technical means at their disposal) to stop work and immediately proceed to a place of safety in the event of their being exposed to serious, imminent and unavoidable danger; and

    (c)save in exceptional cases for reasons duly substantiated (which cases and reasons shall be specified in those procedures), require the persons concerned to be prevented from resuming work in any situation where there is still a serious and imminent danger.

    (3) A person shall be regarded as competent for the purposes of paragraph (1)(b) where he has sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities to enable him properly to implement the evacuation procedures referred to in that sub-paragraph.

    The safety of our members and the public is paramount and PCS will be issuing further guidance on our negotiating and campaigning work to make real progress on protecting all our safety during this latest lockdown situation.


    January 15, 2021 at 5:05 pm

  29. Andrew Coates

    January 16, 2021 at 8:03 pm

    • it is so funny that they said the extra £20 a week for uc was because of all the ppl loosing there jobs and never had to make a claim b4 yet now there going to cut it when near10 million are on furlough that also ends in April yet could not do the same for legacy claimants because the computer said no but can add 5p no problem.


      with millions more with online uc claims signing on every 2 weeks is not going to happen more like once a month if that for non digital relationships.

      and if you cant afford the internet anymore or something brakes and need a new pc ect you are screwed buy default as soon as you apply online.


      January 16, 2021 at 11:16 pm

      • It’s time they scrapped the whole shebang and introduced Unconditional Basic Income. Universal Credit, JSA, ESA, WCA, Sanctions, Jobcentres, Work Coaches, Restart schemes, Conditionality, signing on appointments, all unnecessarily complicated and expensive bullshit for the sake of it. Embrace the New Normal and just give us the feckin money.


        January 16, 2021 at 11:31 pm

      • If there is one thing this situation has proved, you don’t need Jobcentres or Work Coaches to be unemployed. You can just be self-unemployed as it were, and arrange things for yourself.

        Jeff Smith

        January 17, 2021 at 12:16 am

      • Exactly Jeff, automatic Benefit payments with no need for signing appointments, no need for Work Coaches or Jobcentres, absolutely no need to scrutinize peoples’ jobsearch, all now well proven. May as well dismantle the DWP, replace with a DP (Department for Pensions) and a DBI (Department for Basic Income), turn Jobcentres into public IT centres with free internet access. Lower State Pension to 60 and Bob’s your uncle.


        January 17, 2021 at 12:28 am

      • Superted there is no longer that amount of people on furlough. it will drop even more day by day.

        On October 31, 2020 there were approximately 2.4 million jobs furloughed under the United Kingdom’s job retention scheme compared with May 2020 when the number of jobs furloughed peaked at over 8.8 million. As a cumulative total there have been over 9.6 million jobs furloughed in the UK since the introduction of the scheme in March.


        January 17, 2021 at 6:15 am

    • Rishi Sunak ‘plans £500 one-off payment for Universal Credit families set for cut’

      In the face of growing dissent over plans to slash Universal Credit Chancellor Rishi Sunak is reportedly considering a one-off £500 payment



      January 17, 2021 at 2:41 am

      • If there’s to be a £500 payment then people on “legacy Benefits” should get it as well, plus the £1000 back pay to last April for the “uplift” we never got.


        January 17, 2021 at 9:05 am

      • And as for Rishi ‘Richy’ Sunak, it now seems he was behind the refusal to pay the £20 to the legacy claimants.

        Jeff Smith

        January 17, 2021 at 4:09 pm

      • @ Jeff

        How rich is UK chancellor Rishi Sunak?

        “He has been dubbed the “Maharaja of the Dales”, and is thought to be the richest person in the House of Commons.”



        January 17, 2021 at 5:25 pm

      • Huge wealth of Rishi Sunak’s family not declared in ministerial register

        the Guardian | Fri 27 Nov 2020 12.19 GMT

        “Akshata Murty, Sunak’s wife, holds multimillion-pound portfolio making her richer than the Queen”


        But he expects us to be able to live on just £74 per week.


        January 17, 2021 at 5:35 pm

  30. And even now, it’s all about Universal Credit Claimants. Not a word about legacy benefits.
    Everyone on legacy benefits should get the £20, all the backdated payment due.

    Jeff Smith

    January 17, 2021 at 12:13 am

    • Depriving us of the extra £20 is more than mean-spirited, it’s an act of Class War by a Cabinet of Millionaires. New Normal my arse, nothing has changed, same old rich Tory bastards shafting the poor same as it ever was.


      January 17, 2021 at 12:34 am

  31. Lockdown to be lifted ‘from start of March’ with tiers

    Ministers will reportedly begin drawing up a timetable for the end of lockdown at the end of this week.


    January 17, 2021 at 6:27 am

    • Tiers have never worked which is why we are in lockdown now.


      January 18, 2021 at 8:52 am

  32. Universal Credit Official Statistics:

    People on Universal Credit up to 12 November 2020.



    January 17, 2021 at 6:55 am

  33. Returning To Slavery:The Great Reset,Tracked & Traced And A Cashless Society!



    January 17, 2021 at 11:34 am

  34. Universal Credit: Benefit increase only ‘temporary’, says Raab



    January 17, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    • “Labour will use a Commons debate on Monday to add pressure on ministers to agree now to extend it beyond 31 March.

      But Dominic Raab told the BBC it was a “temporary measure” and the Budget would spell out support “in the round”.

      The foreign secretary’s comments follow reports that Conservative MPs will be told to abstain in Monday’s debate, meaning Labour’s “opposition day” motion is likely to be approved.

      While this will not be binding on the government, the BBC’s Ben Wright said allowing Tory MPs to abstain was an attempt by the government to “neutralise” the issue.

      It showed, he added, how concerned ministers were about the prospect of a rebellion by MPs – many of whom want ministers to put an end to the uncertainty – and the symbolic damage that a defeat could cause.”


      January 17, 2021 at 3:15 pm

      • They just don’t want to pay it. To many of these right-wing Tories, £20 is enough to make them choke on their gin & tonic. They have spent years slashing benefits, and giving out miserly increases. And now they see the extra £20, as giving out 20 years of benefit increases in one go !

        Jeff Smith

        January 17, 2021 at 3:58 pm

      • Yep, the £20 increase (“uplift”) puts unemployment Benefit at the level it should have been at seven years ago!


        And IDS nearly burst a blood vessel at that news. There’s no way in hell they’re going to give the increase to legacy Benefits, and they’ll have to be dragged kicking & screaming to make the UC increase permanent. But people still voted for these psychopaths. They would bring back hanging and send kids up chimneys if they thought they could get away with it.


        January 17, 2021 at 4:44 pm

  35. Priti Patel has quietly scoped out the return of the Death Penalty!


    January 17, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    • Yep. Good article here about that:


      Patel has been quoted elsewhere as believing that the death penalty would be a “good deterrent”, completely ignoring the fact that the USA still has the death penalty in some States yet it has not deterred people from committing crimes.


      January 17, 2021 at 6:41 pm

      • And the problem that with the death penalty, any wrongful convictions are difficult to put right.

        Jeff Smith

        January 17, 2021 at 8:42 pm

      • Priti Patel got her backside handed to her by Ian Hislop on the subject of captial punishment years ago:


        January 18, 2021 at 6:16 am

      • Nice one bob!


        January 18, 2021 at 9:02 am

    • There will never be a majority for the return of capital punishment – or fox hunting – during any vote in parliament; as far as I know no country which has abolished the death sentence has ever reinstated it. Patel is as black-hearted as sin but not stupid and must know this, so she must be trying to look tough fully realising that she’s championing a lost cause.


      January 18, 2021 at 8:50 am

      • @Tim

        Like so many charlatan Politicians, Leaders and would-be Dictators, and assorted political windbags these days, Priti Patel favours the Populist route, which is becoming something of a modern scourge.


        January 18, 2021 at 8:56 am

      • Andrew Coates

        January 18, 2021 at 10:09 am

  36. superted

    January 17, 2021 at 8:10 pm

  37. The wait for the 2nd dose of vaccine sounds like a Universal Credit wait of 12 to 26 weeks.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    January 18, 2021 at 3:45 pm

  38. Everyone needs their Universal Credit cut by £40 a week to save the UK Economy.

    Good idea for the idiots in charge.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    January 18, 2021 at 3:47 pm

  39. Shall we put the Work Roaches on DWP Sanctions because it is already happening.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    January 18, 2021 at 3:50 pm

  40. DWP Decision Makers will also being going to court.

    As you know I cost the DWP Lawyers [Tax Payers] tens of thousands of ££ when I get busy typing. It is only shit when you have to pay the lawyers DWP & Tory Voters.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    January 18, 2021 at 3:52 pm

    • DWP Decision Makers break Equality Laws. Just the fact that they are called Decision Makers makes it illegal. They have no medical knowledge let alone qualified. The dictatorship of Decision Makers is the foundation of the Tory Welfare Reform DWP Universal Credit. The DWP thing they are going to court on a bogus appeal system called mandatory reconsideration which also is a bogus & good way of scrapping the appeal system like scrapping Legal Aid. So when the DWP lose a court case they don’t use their own ‘mandatory reconsideration process !!!

      Go & get your lawyers DWP at £3,000 an hour & you’re gonna need more than one lawyer DWP.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      January 18, 2021 at 3:58 pm

  41. Some Tory MPs are going to rebel against Johnson by voting with Labour for keeping the £20 UC increase in place ….

    Colne Valley MP on why he will vote with Labour to extend Universal Credit uplift

    ‘This is just something we should be continuing to do to help hard-pressed families,’ says Jason McCartney


    No mention of giving a £20 increase to JSA claimants though.


    January 18, 2021 at 3:53 pm

  42. Now is the time for a Universal Basic Income for everyone. It has never been more urgent.

    Jeff Smith

    January 18, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    • I agree. Don’t know why Starmer didn’t back it last year.


      January 18, 2021 at 4:01 pm

  43. Time for the Tory Party to go without election just not fit for purpose, like we didn’t already know that.

    Tory Human Rights Champions – Tory Disability Champions


    Tory Champions with the help of scapegoat Human Rights & Disability.

    Let the Tory be Failure Champions.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    January 18, 2021 at 4:03 pm

  44. That’s all we need now Boris Johnson & Matt Hancock have got e-scooters to get about on.

    All waiting for Boris to fall off his e-scooter which means Matt Hancock has to fall off his e-scooter as well.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    January 18, 2021 at 4:05 pm

  45. That’s a laugh – Why did we all vote Tory they are fucking useless – The Tory Voter says which makes them look more stupid than Boris.

    Boris has made all his voters look more stupid than Boris. No mean feat all thick as shit.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    January 18, 2021 at 4:08 pm

  46. The DWP are being Means Tested.

    Shame the DWP Lawyers can’t be Means Tested with the Tax Payers money.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    January 18, 2021 at 4:11 pm

    • 2nd Home.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      January 18, 2021 at 4:12 pm

  47. Mandatory Reconsideration

    The DWP’s [Iain Duncan Smith’s] baby that hold Universal Credit together with Lord Fraud – Whoops Lord Freudian slip.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    January 18, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    • No you can’t appeal, we have decided.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      January 18, 2021 at 4:17 pm

      • Well take us to court then.

        Well done DWP getting taken to court everyday for the next 10 years Tories..

        The High Court seems to be running the DWP in new improved un-vetted rules. Till the next time a DWP Spokesperson said with no name.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        January 18, 2021 at 4:19 pm

  48. Boris your not fit for purpose – Stand down – We have put Marcus Rashford in your place Boris & you think you are getting all the Credit for Marcus Rashford running the country better because you are so useless Boris you need servants.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    January 18, 2021 at 4:22 pm

  49. Tories snub vote on Commons bid to halt cut to Universal Credit by £20 a week



    January 18, 2021 at 7:53 pm

    • The Nasty Party strikes again.


      January 18, 2021 at 8:17 pm

    • Universal credit: All options on the table for PM and Sunak

      “the idea of a one-off payment to universal credit recipients of £500 or even £1,000 has also been mooted, rather than commit to a permanent additional cost.”


      All these possible increases for those on Universal Credit bur nothing for those on JSA, it’s a wonder there aren’t riots.


      January 18, 2021 at 8:50 pm

  50. Between 1 January and 31 December 2020, 550,238 deaths occurred in England (and were registered by 9 January 2021


    In 2019, there were 530,841 deaths registered in England

    In 2018, there were 505,859 total deaths in England

    well they are killing more ppl every year they are in power and with the cuts and everything going up means even more will die from poverty.

    but that was the plan all along imo because they dont give a shit about anyone bar themselves.


    January 18, 2021 at 8:42 pm

    • Yes and don’t forget that now there are also thousands per day dying of the Covid pandemic too.


      January 18, 2021 at 8:53 pm

      • will have to wait 12 months for that data tho but it is going to be higher this government is the worst virus possible everything it touches turns to shit.


        January 18, 2021 at 9:00 pm

      • Of course, they’re Tories, no one can expect any different. It’s surprising that they gave UC the extra £20 p/w to begin with but they don’t deserve any credit for doing that as that’s the amount it should have been at 7 years ago! And now the bastards want to take the twenty quid away, and never even gave it to us JSA claimants anyway, what a bloody set of twats. And this is what Boris calls “levelling up” ? Tories always create and exacerbate inequality, always will do. Who the fuck votes for them?


        January 18, 2021 at 9:29 pm

  51. From Jon Reynolds’ speech;

    “Mr Speaker, the proposed cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit isn’t the only issue causing consternation in the country right now. In particular, I want to highlight the continuing injustice of those people on ESA and Jobseeker’s Allowance, who didn’t even get the uplift to begin with. I find this unjustifiable, and discriminatory, and I would ask the Minister to specifically reference this point in the government’s frontbench speeches.”



    January 18, 2021 at 11:16 pm

  52. superted

    January 18, 2021 at 11:37 pm

    • Peanuts in the grand scheme of things, and “oven-ready” after all! I wonder how much the UK will pay to rejoin the EU in another couple of generations time when the teenagers of today are in their 70s? which is probably inevitable. Boris, Rees-Mogg and Farage will have snuffed it by then.


      January 18, 2021 at 11:47 pm

  53. “Three reasons why we need to keep the £20 uplift to Universal Credit
    1.If the Universal Credit uplift is not retained we estimate that 1 in 8 (683,000) households in receipt of Universal Credit, across Britain, will be unable to meet all their essential costs. It is important to remember that these are not lifestyle costs but the very minimum that a household needs in order to avoid crisis, costs that are likely to be considerably higher when taking into account other common outgoings that people face
    2.The decision on the £20 uplift to Universal Credit should be looked at in conjunction with other welfare measures such as the two-child limit and the minimum income floor for self-employed households, and a four-year benefit freeze. Families that are already affected by the two-child limit are already losing vital support, cutting their Universal Credit will compound this effect. For self-employed households, the suspension of the minimum income floor has been vital while they are unable to work due to the pandemic. If the MIF is reinstated and the uplift to UC is not retained, almost half of these households will be in crisis
    3.The uplift serves as a financial and social investment in the UK’s economic recovery from the pandemic, boosting personal finances and people’s ability to put money back into their local economy. It focuses support on those most heavily hit, the unemployed and lowest paid and should be retained until the economy returns to normal levels”



    January 19, 2021 at 9:42 am

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