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Jobcentre Plus: Disabled

Volume 488: debated on Friday 27 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the level of accessibility of Jobcentre Plus offices for disabled people; and if he will make a statement. (248498)

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 assessment he has made of the accessibility of Jobcentre Plus offices for disabled people. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

Jobcentre Plus strives to be an exemplar in delivering services to all of our customers, including disabled people. The design of our modern Jobcentre Plus offices incorporated all reasonable and practicable measures regarding access arrangements for disabled people, to ensure that we take into account the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act.

Where full access to all people cannot be provided for genuine reasons (e.g. listed building status, prohibitive cost, or the structure of the existing building), every effort is made to ensure that access is provided for the maximum number of disabled people. For example, where internal alterations could not be made to enable upper floor access, services are made available on the ground floor where possible. We also consider other ways of contacting our customers, such as visiting people at home.

I am satisfied the arrangements in place ensure that our offices continue to comply with our guidelines.