As of August 1st 2015 this site will no longer being updated, therefore any rights based information can no longer be relied upon. However, as most of the website is based upon and refers to Freedom of information Act (FOIA) responses, [DWP provider guidance and contracts] anyone can make new similar FOIA requests via https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/body/dwp to cross check the validity of the information on http://www.refuted.org.uk that relies upon FOIA disclosures.
Universal Jobmatch (UJ) and consent
It is self-evident that Universal Jobmatch (UJ) can be and is used to facilitate benefit sanctions and total loss of benefits. This as such is the principle reason the Information Commissioners Office requires that the DWP must obtain users permission (consent)
to access their UJ account.
Clones of UJ
Against this background, suppliers of these clones and DWP providers have a vested interest not to explicitly inform WP and CWP conscripted participants, that like UJ, it seems apparent that use and therefore registration with these clones is voluntary. This can be said to be particularly true as these clones are set up so that DWP provider and hence DWP access to user accounts personal data is switched on by default, without any user option or inbuilt safeguard to stop this access in any way.
With this level of default access the DWP and DWP providers are free to use the personal data within these clones to arrange benefit sanctions that can last up to 3 years, as well as completely end entitlement to benefits like Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Examples of Jobmatch clones
“You can also log in and check the extent to which any individual has or has not been learning how to look for work and actively job-searching. You can interact with jobseekers, monitoring tasks as well as suggesting jobs and activities and providing assistance. Most importantly, using the MyWorkSearch data, you can focus your help where it is really needed.” [all of which can be used to facilitate benefit sanctions]
“Work Programme participants are not mandated to use http://www.avantajobs.com and can therefore choose not to use this site…. If a participant wishes to stop using the website they can do so….where personal data is loaded onto http://www.avantajobs.com DWP remains the data controller…” [owner]
From: DWP Central FoI Team – 24 October 2011
If asked to register and use, by DWP providers, websites like http://www.avantajobs.com and MyWorkSearch, ask for the request to be put in writing and tell them to also say in writing what would happen if you did not register or use them and do ask them to write who would have access to the personal data uploaded or created within any account, explicitly asking them to say in any written response whether the DWP and DWP providers would have access.
- Jobsearch evidence: a definitive guide
- Universal Jobmatch: Your key rights
- Universal Jobmatch: Why does DWP need your permission (consent) to access your account?
- Universal Jobmatch: How to handle questions about giving Jobcentre/DWP no access to your account
- Extensive Tips on JSA and ESA sanction appeals and claiming Hardship Payments
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) says the reason why the DWP needs user permission to access their Universal Jobmatch (UJ) account is because it could be used to have an adverse* and unfair effect on their benefit claims, through benefit sanctions and or loss of entitlement.
“While the DWP is already the data controller for the information, it would be considered ‘unfair’ for the UJM information to be used to consider the customer’s JSA (or similar benefit) claim without the prior permission of the customer being obtained by the DWP” [emphasis added]
ICO 15 May 2015
*Principle 1 of the Data Protection Act requires the DWP, it’s contractors and sub-contractors to process personal data fairly and lawfully and “not use the data in ways that have unjustified adverse effects on the individuals concerned“.
Further to a discussion on twitter, the DWP has released information about what an employer can see when they conduct a jobseeker search of ‘public CVs’ on Universal Jobmatch (UJ). The DWP say that employers with Jobmatch accounts cannot see any personal data when they conduct Jobseeker searchs and the full content of a CV is only available to an employer when the Jobseeker applies for a job through UJ, either by sending their CV direct to the employer or through UJ.
“…when an employer conducts a jobseeker search on Universal Jobmatch the search function does not search jobseekers CV’s but instead matches jobseekers to vacancy criteria that an employer has placed on Universal Jobmatch. The match is based on information that a jobseeker has recorded within their profile on Universal Jobmatch system, for example, skills, location etc”
DWP Central FoI Team – 03/06/2015
Confusion has been caused by the DWP’s use of the term “public CV”, which understandably leads people to believe that employers, if not the public, would have easy access to the full content of a CV.
It seems highly probable that the DWP’s original plan was that UJ users CVs would have had more open access, alongside DWP staff having access to users account. However, as the processing of personal data on UJ can lead directly to benefit sanctions, this came into conflict with Principle 1 of the Data Protection Act, part of which requires that personal data is not processed “in ways that have unjustified adverse effects on the individuals concerned“. Consequently DWP access to a UJ users account needs permission (consent) and use of the term “public CV” is misleading and inappropriate.
This need to ensure personal data is processed fairly and lawfully, under Principle 1, may go some way to explain why DWP compulsory back to work scheme providers do not appear to mandate participants to use UJ privacy invasive benefit sanction clones like myworksearch.co.uk and avantajobs.com.
The #WorkMustPay Campaign is made up of a small network of young activists who take part in a series of actions to directly challenge the acceptability of employers taking on unpaid JobBridge interns instead of providing even the basic respect of a minimum wage for workers.
Following on from The Universal Credit (Work-Related Requirements) In Work Pilot Scheme and Amendment Regulations 2015 and the explanatory note that highlighted IT ideas to match workers with employers to fill flexible short hours. Today the DWP disclosed fuller details of the ideas submitted by Accenture and others, to make the unemployed and people in-work more insure and open to employer exploitation. An extract of ideas are below, these suggestions are mostly based upon extending Universal Jobmatch so it gives employers and the DWP greater control over peoples lives, forcing people under Universal Credit to make known the “Slivers of Time” they are free to be exploited by employers or face benefit sanctions.
“Job Scheduling – posting one’s availability through UC Jobmatch for specific dates or
hours within a day…
…people interested in elderly care we could present the necessary skills for entry level, but also those which will be required to increase earnings….
Slivers of Time…
IDS’s Centre for Social (in)Justice also has a few words
“Universal Jobmatch is an important innovation but in reality, the department has
only just begun to scratch the surface of the potential of this tool.
Universal Jobmatch software should be updated to include a timetable where claimants can list the hours that they would be available….
…filter part-time jobs that are appropriate based on what a claimant has already identified through their own work-readiness timetable. ”
Deloitte on your CV
(suggesting people should add more personal data to their CV)
“a programme of work to enhance the ontology by factoring in skills associated with non-work and voluntary activities, such as, sports coaching, youth work, mentoring, home visiting, and the like would enrich the skills base elicited from a CV ”
#UniversalCredit: Activities that could b imposed when in employment, including Psychological Fundamentalism “Proposals submitted included a sponsored website that provides details of claimants as a pool of local top up workers available to employers. Named individuals could be booked instantly, possibly at short notice and for short periods. This would fit around claimant’s availability and existing work and child care commitments. Each claimant would be given a personal online diary in which they enter hours for today, the day after or weeks ahead. They would also define the terms on which they will accept bookings.” http://refuted.org.uk/2014/12/05/in-work-activities/