October 2020

Families First News

The latest news

Update on Financial & Job Support Initiatives

Please see the information below about the current financial and job support initiatives being provided by the government.


Job Support Scheme expanded to firms required to close due to COVID Restrictions

The Chancellor has announced that the government’s Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be expanded to protect jobs and support businesses required to close their doors as a result of coronavirus restrictions.

Find out more


New employment programme launched

The DWP has launched Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS), a new programme that will provide employment support for those out of work for three months.

Those put forward for the scheme by their Work Coach, will have access to tailored, flexible support to help them quickly get back into employment. The new programme will offer a range of help, including specialist advice on moving into growing sectors, as well as CV and interview coaching.

This will give jobseekers the boost they need to return to employment supported by an action plan agreed with their Work Coach, peer support and opportunities to build their skills.

JETS will provide employment support to Universal Credit claimants in the all work related requirements group and New Style Jobseekers Allowance claimants who have been unemployed for at least 13 weeks.

More information can be found at GOV.UK.


Kickstart Scheme

Kickstart is a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high quality, six-month paid work placements for young people aged 16-24, who are claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long term unemployment.

The scheme is subsidised. The government will cover 100% of the minimum wage, national insurance and pension contributions for a maximum of 25 hours a week — with employers able to top up wages.

Employers wishing to apply directly for funding must be able to offer a minimum of 30 job placements. Many within the Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) sector will not be able to provide this many placements - this is where Communities 1st intends to help.

Communities 1st has registered with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) in becoming an intermediary. Intermediaries will check that the job placements are eligible and submit applications for funding on behalf of multiple employers.

Communities 1st wants to hear from VCFSE sector organisations and businesses who believe they could commit to providing high quality work placements, who alone could not offer 30 placements.

To find out more about employing a young person through the Kickstart scheme, or to express your interest in working with Communities 1st as an intermediary, please follow this link.


New package to support and enforce self-isolation

From 28th September, people will be required by law to self-isolate if they test positive or are contacted by Test and Trace. To ensure that people on lower incomes are able to self-isolate without worry about their finances, people in work and in receipt of benefits will be eligible for a new Test and Trace Support payment of £500.

To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, an individual must:

  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because they’ve tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive;
  • be employed or self-employed;
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and
  • be currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

Local Authorities will be working quickly to set up these self-isolation support schemes and we expect them to be in place by 12 October. Those who start to self-isolate from 28 September will receive backdated payments once the scheme is set up in their Local Authority.

Find out more


Green Homes Grant

Applications are now open for the Green Homes Grant scheme. The scheme will give over 600,000 homeowners in England up to £5,000 to pay part of the cost of energy saving measures like insulation.

Some homeowners on income-based or disability benefits may be eligible for vouchers covering the full cost of improvement, up to £10,000.   

Materials are available to share with homeowners and tradespeople.

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