Jobseekers won’t have to sign on for the dole until the New Year – while part of the main benefits office in Douglas is closed for refurbishment.
Those who claim Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and normally sign on at Markwell House every two weeks have been told they’re excused from doing so from Thursday this week (September 26) until Monday, January 6.
Social Care bosses insist checks will be carried out to prevent fraud and ensure claimants are still entitled to their benefit.
Work to refurbish the ground floor of Markwell House on Market Street will begin on October 1 and is expected to last at least eight weeks. Normal signing-on arrangements will resume on January 6.
A spokesman for the Department of Social Care said: ‘Jobseekers must still tell the DSC of any changes in their circumstances which might affect their benefit.
‘They must also still record the steps they have taken to actively seek work and that they are available for work each week.
‘The DSC will be carrying out checks that jobseekers have been actively seeking and are available for work during the temporary suspension of signing-on at Markwell House as well as checking that their circumstances have not changed.’
The department has written to all jobseekers affected to inform them of the temporary signing-on arrangements.
Some claimants will still have to sign on at an alternative time and venue, if deemed appropriate by the department.
Jobseekers who have to sign-on every weekday as a condition of their JSA are unaffected.
Anyone who signs on at the Department of Social Care’s offices in Port Erin or Ramsey are also unaffected.
Refurbishment of the ground floor at Markwell House is designed to improve customer service and ‘experience’.
Signing-on is normally suspended anyway for two weeks around Christmas and New Year every year.
Anyone with questions about JSA can still call in to Markwell House by visiting the first floor. All phone and other inquiries will be answered.