Children: Maintenance

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered at on 25 March 2024.

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Photo of Drew Hendry Drew Hendry Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Economy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department is taking to reduce call waiting times to the child maintenance service; and whether he has made a recent assessment of the adequacy of call handling times by that service.

Photo of Paul Maynard Paul Maynard The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

As part of its Modernisation Programme, CMS continues to improve how it communicates with customers and how customers access its service. When a customer first applies for CMS they are enrolled on the online service which provides them the ability to update their information and request changes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The majority of our customers make use of these online services to effectively meet their needs every day, though we are actively engaged in improving the service further and increasing customer take up.

We recognise some customers need alternative methods to contact us or choose to call us, and on occasion call wait times on our inbound phone lines can be longer than we would like. Speed to answer is continually reviewed throughout the working day and operational resource is regularly reviewed and flexed to minimise excessive wait times.

Over the coming year we will increase customer education on what can be raised and progressed using our online services and encourage more customers to make use of this as the primary channel for their CMS enquiries. This will help protect our inbound phones lines for our customers that need to access our service in this way and reduce the wait time they experience.

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