Jobcentre Plus: Access

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 13th July 2009.

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Photo of Mark Harper Mark Harper Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent assessment her Department has made of levels of accessibility of Jobcentre Plus offices for elderly and disabled people; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Jim Knight Jim Knight Minister of State (the South West), Regional Affairs, Minister of State (the South West), Department for Work and Pensions, Minister of State (Regional Affairs) (South West), The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

holding answer 8 July 2009

The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the acting chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Mel Groves. I have asked him to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Mel Groves:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what recent assessment her Department has made of levels of accessibility of Jobcentre Plus offices for elderly and disabled people. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

Jobcentre Plus offices are designed to include accessibility measures for the elderly and disabled people in accordance with statutory requirements and Building Regulations. These measures are reviewed annually by the Department's external facilities provider, Telereal Trillium, as part of the annual building assessment which they are responsible for carrying out under the private finance initiative negotiated in 1998. The annual assessments may be carried out sooner if there is a major reconfiguration of a building, to check that our statutory and regulatory responsibilities are fully met.

Our departmental policy on provision of services requires us to ensure that both offices and processes do not discriminate against any of our customers. If any of our customers do have any real difficulty with accessing services in an office, we are always able to offer other options to meet their needs, for example home visits or call back arrangements.

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