DWP confirms closure of temporary Covid jobcentres

Some 125 temporary jobcentres have now been closed, while the closure of 41 offices has also now been completed
Photo: Adobe Stock

By Tevye Markson

05 Apr 2024

The Department of Work and Pensions has now closed 125 temporary job centres set up during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The department has also confirmed it has completed the closing down of 41 of its offices.

The DWP created 194 temporary jobcentres or additional spaces within existing job centre buildings between 2020 and 2022 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, adding to a network of around 639 established sites.

In December 2022, it started shutting them down, with two closed down in that month, 101 shut down in 2023 and a further 20 decommissioned so far in 2024. The department announced in February plans to close a further 43.

The DWP has also chosen to retain 12 sites – absorbing established jobcentres into them – while it said a further eight sites will be "reabsorbed into the estate". This leaves 12 remaining sites for the department to decide on.

The DWP began opening the temporary job centres in December 2020 in response to anticipated pressures on the labour market due to the Covid-19 pandemic, securing time-limited funding to rapidly introduce additional job centre capacity and provide more work coaches to support claimants.

These jobcentres and extra spaces increased the capacity to provide tailored face-to-face support amid social distancing guidelines and also supported the government’s Plan for Jobs, which aimed to help people get back into the labour market.

In July 2022, the department outlined plans to take advantage of lease breaks and vacate “older, poorer-quality” jobcentre buildings. It said temporary sites which offer “better, more suitable” accommodation than existing offices – and that are better value for money – would be retained, with staff in established job centres in these areas moving into these buildings. Other temporary sites would be decommissioned “where the increased capacity is no longer needed”.

The eight sites retained are in Brighton, Burton Upon Trent, Gravesend, Leicester, Liverpool, Walsall (two) and Wolverhampton.

The DWP confirmed its latest decisions in an update on Wednesday, where it announced the most recent closures would be in Colchester, Hereford, Luton, Maidstone, Oldham, Rochdale and Swansea.

A DWP spokesperson said: “The temporary sites were used during the pandemic to accommodate social distancing and are no longer needed. Services will be unaffected and job seekers will get the same support at their main jobcentre.”




HR Property & Estates
Share this page
Read next