Universal Jobmatch: Why does DWP need your permission (consent) to access your account?

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“.



Dystopian 35 Hours a Week Supervised Jobsearch for Jobseeker’s Allowance Pilot

The Supervised Jobsearch Pilot Scheme

3.  (1)  The Supervised Jobsearch Pilot Scheme is prescribed for the purposes of section 17A(1) (schemes for assisting persons to obtain employment: “work for your benefit” schemes etc) of the Jobseekers Act 1995.

(2) The Supervised Jobsearch Pilot Scheme (“the Scheme”) is a scheme—

(a) that is designed to provide support and assistance to a claimant in their search to find employment, in a supervised environment, for up to 35 hours per week over a period of up to 13 weeks; and

(b) which involves an initial interview with the Scheme provider to discuss what the claimant is required to do by way of participation in the Scheme and may also involve training or other activity to help improve a claimant’s job search skills, help preparing for job interviews and assistance with job applications and preparing a curriculum vitae.http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2014/9780111115367

Pilot to operate until 30th April 2015 within:

a) East Anglia; – (b) Black Country; – (c) Mercia;- (d) Surrey & Sussex; – (e) West Yorkshire.

New 35 hour per week Job Search commitments confirmed – Universal Credit http://consentarchive.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/thirtyfive/

JSA Claimant Commitment: DWP internal guidance disclosed, 45+ documents http://refuted.org.uk/2013/11/13/jsacommitment/


28 April 2014 benefit changes: Lone Parent Conditionality, Workfare, Jobsearch, Sanctions & more

“…high-level overview of changes that are being introduced from 28 April 2014”

  • Quarterly Work Search Interviews
    (20 minute Quarterly Work Search Interview every 13 weeks)
  • English Language Requirement (in England only)
    (This will affect all new JSA claimants…It applies equally to UK nationals, European Economic Area (EEA) and non EEA nationals)
  • Increasing Lone Parent Conditionality
  • Day One Conditionality
    “Prior to their Initial Work Search Interview, they will be requested [can be mandated following at an interview, if “appropriate“] to:

    • set up an email address
    • prepare a suitable CV
    • register on Universal Jobmatch”
  • Weekly Work Search Reviews
    (It will apply to 50% of all pre-Work Programme JSA)
  • Help to Work Package: Every person who remains on JSA following completion of the Work Programme will be provided with rigorous support tailored to their needs
    Help to Work offers three intensive support options for Work Programme completers. Work Coaches in Jobcentres will work with claimants to understand their needs, and refer them to one of the following:

    • Mandatory Intervention Regime where Coaches have more time to spend with
    • Daily Work Search Reviews
    • Community Work Placements
      (Community Work Placements, where claimants undertake work placements of community benefit for up to six months alongside provider-led jobsearch)

    Discuss at:http://unemploymentmovement.com/forum/benefit/9220-important-read-this#38491

Tougher Benefit Regime: Universal Jobmatch, a CV and up front work search to become mandatory?

1.284…As announced at Spending Round 2013, the government will invest over £250 million in the first 2 years of a tougher regime of conditions for benefits claimants
Increased support to work is being introduced through: [emphasis added]
up-front work search, requiring jobseekers to write a CV and register on the Universal Jobmatch service immediately
From: Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement 2013
Via: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/autumn-statement-2013

#DoNotSign Work Programme documents, a very good example of www.avantajobs.com

[updated 24 Oct 13]

Work Programme Provider Avanta has created a clone of Universal Jobmatch (UJ) called Avanta Jobs (AJ), unlike UJ, AJ does not appear to give the choice of not giving permission for anyone voluntarily using or mandated to use AJ of not allowing Avanta staff full or read only access to an account users activity and personal data. What is also not made clear is that all personal data entered onto AJ belongs to the DWP as the Data Controller.

“Work Programme participants are not mandated to use 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 www.avantajobs.com DWP remains the data controller…[owner]
(Emphasis added)
From: DWP Central FoI Team  – 24 October 2011

Q: If the Avanta Work Programme Customer Agreement form is not signed, does Avanta have any authority to mandate use, registration and uploading personal data to avantajobs.com?

A: A recent set of FOI disclosures of Avanta correspondence with the DWP* (see note below) clearly indicated the authority to view a AJ user’s account comes via the signing of it’s ‘Customer Agreement’ (CA) form, needless to say this suggests not signing the CA could make it impossible for Avanta to mandate:

1. Creating a AJ account
2. Uploading personal data, such as a CV onto AJ
3. Avanta having access to a user’s personal data on AJ

The authority [consent] for this [user account access by Avanta] comes from the signed Work Programme Customer Agreement form
From: Avanta Dwp Communications, via DWP Freedom of Information – 22 October 2013

Debate and discuss at:

Related FOI response:

Q: “Whilst on the Work Programme, Can I be mandated to sign any forms given by my provider, this includes, Action Plans and Monthly Review documents”?

A:there is no mandatory requirement for individuals to sign specific forms
From: DWP Central Freedom of Information Team – 26.03.13

*Comment: All Work Programme Providers are subject to the Freedom of Information Act

More on the #DoNotSign principle:
Background information:

Notes: Welfare rights law and DWP guidance, in particular, changes frequently.
You may find more recent information via http://refuted.org.uk/category/ or by using the website search facility (top right)

Work Programme: Evidence of Jobsearch, do I have to provide it? Sanctions?

” A Work Programme provider may ask you to provide evidence of your job search as part of their support they give you but they cannot  mandate you to provide it and you will not be sanctioned if you do not provide it. ”

Source: http://unemploymentmovement.com/forum/chat-a-rap/7244-new-website-from-refuted-aka-wwwconsentmeuk-a-wwwdonotsigncom#25146

Discuss and Debate: http://unemploymentmovement.com/forum/welfare-to-work/7267-showing-job-search-evidence-to-wp

Notes: Welfare rights law and DWP guidance, in particular, changes frequently.
You may find more recent information via http://refuted.org.uk/category/ or by using the website search facility (top right)