Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has praised Department for Communities’ frontline staff for their commitment and hard work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Minister Hargey was speaking after a visit to Newry Jobs & Benefits (JBO) office where she met Universal Credit staff from the Service Centre and frontline teams.

Minister Hargey said: “I welcome this opportunity to acknowledge the work that Universal Credit teams have done to support local people through the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Staff delivering these services from the many Universal Credit sites across the north, showed great flexibility and perseverance and adapted quickly to necessary new processes such as social distancing and working from home.

“The wellbeing of our customers and staff has been paramount throughout this period, and continues to be the focus for my Department as we move through the recovery phase.”

Minister Hargey further acknowledged the adaptability shown by staff in the swift implementation of more flexible approaches to service delivery.

“Investment in IT, which allowed staff to continue to deliver a high-quality service despite the challenges presented by Covid, will continue to benefit staff and customers.

“There is no doubt as to the critical role that front office and Service Centre teams have played during the pandemic and the importance of that support moving forward.”


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