Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Signposting to up to date information about benefits, employment and business support around Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Local Support Services in Southampton

COVID-19 Employment Support

Other Advice and Guidance

The Zone

The Zone is a network of IAG professionals who are supporting people in and around Southampton to find education, employment and training.

The Zone has a mailing list for organisations to promote their training and personal development courses that are running in Southampton to IAG professionals who can refer people to this provision.

If you are an Information, Advice and Guidance practitioner who would like to join the Zone mailing list, please email

If you are a college or training provider who would like to advertise your courses on the Zone, please email

Universal Credit Support Website

DWP has launched a new website to help people understand what Universal Credit means for them:

  • This site provides customers with support to direct them to claim the right benefit, whether that is Universal Credit or one of our other existing benefits.
  • With clear content and easy to follow navigation, the site will be a valuable source of information for both customers and organisations.
  • Customers should still continue to claim Universal Credit at There are links to this page and support for how to fill out the claim on the new Understanding Universal Credit website.

DWP Benefits Checker

The DWP have launched a new benefits checking tool to help people who think they might be eligible for Universal Credit. It takes a few minutes, and doesn’t require any detailed information, nor does it process or store personal data. It is an easy first step for anyone who is unsure whether they want to start a claim.

Benefits Checker: What could you claim?

Benefits information available via WhatsApp

People can now access the most up-to-date benefits and support information via their smart phones, using WhatsApp.

The service, which can be accessed by sending ‘Hi’ in a WhatsApp message to 07860 064 422, has been launched to help combat the spread of incorrect information and to make the correct information easily accessible.

The GOV.UK service currently has more than 312,000 unique users, and has sent more than 2.6 million messages since its launch on 25 March 2020.

DWP is one of the first government departments to provide information via the service which includes information on benefits support available, how to check if you are eligible and how to apply.

British Sign Language (BSL) Universal Credit Videos

The DWP has produced a range of BSL videos on coronavirus and benefit changes. These include new content for Universal Credit and Statutory Sick Pay.

You can view these videos on the DWP YouTube Sign channel

Access to Work Mental Health Support Service

This confidential service delivered by Remploy is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and is available at no charge to any employees with depression, anxiety, stress or other mental health issues affecting their work. If you or your colleague would like support, please email

Please note that due to the Covid-19 outbreak, our team is working from home. Our service is still fully operational, and we aim to contact you within four hours. Our specialist advisers provide:

  • Tailored work-focused mental health support for nine months
  • Suitable coping strategies
  • A support plan to keep them in, or return to work
  • Ideas for workplace adjustments to help them fulfil their role
  • Practical advice to support those with a mental health condition.

To access this service, individuals need to be in permanent or temporary employment and have a mental health condition (diagnosed or undiagnosed) that has resulted in workplace absence, or is causing difficulties to remain in work.

If you or a colleague would like support and cannot email us, you can call us on 0300 456 8114 between the hours of 10:00 – 16:00.

Managing Anxiety During Pregnancy and the Postnatal Period

Childcare Choices

Information website for government help with childcare costs for parents. Whether you have toddlers or teens, you could get support.

Childcare Choices Website

DBS Check Processes Explained

In response to COVID-19, the Home Office and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) have put temporary arrangements in place, to provide standard and enhanced DBS checks and fast-track emergency checks of the adults’ and children’s Barred Lists, free-of-charge. This applies to healthcare and social care workers in England and Wales, being recruited in connection with the provision of care and treatment of coronavirus, or those being recruited to backfill roles because of the impact of the pandemic.

Disclosure & Barring Service have developed a short video which aims to show the process of a standard and enhanced DBS application in a more user-friendly way.

Support for the Armed Forces Community

As a Council, we recognise the contribution and sacrifice made by members of the Armed Forces Community, and the unique skills and attributes they bring to our workplace. We are committed to ensuring better access to employment opportunities, support, mentoring and work placements for transitioning personnel, reservists, veterans and spouses/civil partners of those serving personnel and veterans.
Find out about the employment support and advice available in Southampton in this document

Flexible Working for over-50s

Flexible working advice for older workers can be found from page 15 of this toolkit:

DARE Autism and Employment Resources

Discover Autism Research & Engagement (DARE) have produced lots of resources around autism and employment:

Safer Places Scheme

The Safer Places scheme is part of a wider ‘Respect me’ campaign which aims to improve the experience of disabled people in the community.

A ‘Safer Place’ is an ordinary business or shop that has agreed to offer support if someone has a negative experience when out in their local community. A person can enter the premises and receive help in contacting a trusted person, or the Police if they have been the victim of a crime. The venue provides a safe place for the person to wait for their trusted person, or the Police, to arrive.

People are invited to complete a card which the shops recognise. It gives their name and the number of someone they trust who can be contacted. Locally you can get a card from the Police or by phoning 023 8083 4854.

This map shows all the Safer Places in Southampton and it is updated regularly.

The ‘New Style’ ESA Claimant Guide Update

The ‘New Style’ ESA claimant guide on has been updated and republished.

The new guide includes a table of scenarios to help claimants understand when they may wish to claim ‘New Style’ ESA on its own, or with Universal Credit, or just Universal Credit.

It also includes a link to a leaflet in PDF format which can be printed out locally and handed to a claimant to reinforce a discussion on ‘New Style’ ESA.

Mental Health Support Resources for Parents

Business in the Community Mental Health Toolkit for Employers

Business in the Community has partnered with Public Health England to produce a free, online toolkit to help every organisation support the mental health and wellbeing of its employees. It will help employers take positive actions to build a culture that champions good mental health and provides a greater understanding of how to help those who need more support.

This toolkit will help employers pick out the most valuable resources, and help to develop an approach that works. For larger organisations, the toolkit is also a useful resource to share with businesses in their supply chain and across their network.

Every organisation has an opportunity to support and develop a mentally healthy workforce and it doesn’t need to be complicated – this toolkit will help you understand and act, step by step.

Business in the Community Mental Health Toolkit for Employers

Support for Refugees

The Universal Credit Communications Team have been working with The Home Office and The Refugee Council to develop a product that will help refugees get the support they need at the appropriate time. The new product encourages refugees to act quickly to ensure accommodation and financial support is in place at the end of the ‘move on’ period. The product outlines how important it is that refugees take appropriate action once they have received leave to remain in the UK.

View and Download the leaflet here

You can also find a flat-text version of the leaflet here on

Support in Southampton is also available from CLEAR Project and EU Welcome

National Careers Service

The National Careers Service is adapting the way it delivers its offering to ensure it can continue to provide an uninterrupted service to thousands of citizens across the region.

The National Careers Service provides free, professional and impartial advice on getting a new job, changing careers, training, education and the labour market.

While the face-to-face service is unavailable, individuals can still access support using a range of channels including telephone appointments, webchat, video call and social media.

Our FREE service can support individuals to:

  • Build confidence
  • Complete a skills assessment
  • Review/ update their CV
  • Develop online interview skills
  • Identify online training opportunities
  • Get new qualifications
  • Plan the next steps of their career

Our service is also able to support if you have:

  • Been furloughed
  • Not furloughed but concerned your job may be at risk
  • Made redundant

At this time, there is also a great deal of opportunity to explore online learning. Our advisers are best placed to help individuals identify the right learning opportunity and have access to thousands of courses and training providers.

The National Careers Service is completely free of charge, and accessible to adults living in England. To access the service, call 0800 100 900, or

Parent Support Link

Supporting and informing the families and friends of people who use drugs and alcohol. Is your Child, Partner or Friend using drugs or alcohol? Parent Support Link offer confidential support and information. Call 023 8039 9764

Hate Crime Information Leaflets

The leaflets can be used to learn about, report and get support with issues around hate crimes.

Southampton Hate Crime Network leaflet (2020 to 21 Version)

Sexual Orientation Hate Crime leaflet (2020 to 21 Version)

Religious Hate Crime leaflet (2020 to 21 Version)

Race Hate Crime leaflet (2020 to 21 Version)

Gender Identity Hate Crime leaflet (2020 to 21 Version)

Disability Hate Crime leaflet (2020 to 21 Version)

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