Dear Department for Work and Pensions,
Could you please provide me the most up to date written information / policy / legislation you hold which answer and relate to my following questions?
1, The Jobseeker's Allowance Regulations 2013 came into effect on 29th April 2013. It states a 35 hours per week jobsearch and work availability requirement and the fact that claimants can volunteer for maximum 50% of their work search requirement hours.
Which claimants do the above legislation apply to? According to my Jobseeker's Agreement I have to be available for work for 40 hours per week and I do not have a weekly work search requirement time, like the above 35 hrs per week. I see it on internet forums that some JSA claimants have a 35 hours per week work search requirement.
The start date of my claim is 31st August 2013. I was also claiming JSA 21st April - 19th August 2013. It is / was income-based JSA.
I am finishing the Work Programme on 24th January 2014. When I finish it, will I have to sign a claimant commitment and will I have a set weekly number of work search requirement hours? Or the "old law" will apply: Jobseeker's Agreement and no set work search requirement hours?
2, Can my Jobcentre advisor ask me or mandate me to give up the voluntary work I do on my own account? I am planning to volunteer with the Citizens Advice Bureau as an Adviser 2 days a week which is under 17 hours per week to gain recent work experience and a reference to help me find a job.
3, I completed 17 hours of voluntary work with Crisis at Christmas 23-28 December 2013 and currently not volunteering. I have seen your policy about the fact that JSA claimants who have recently completed some voluntary work or still volunteering are not eligible to be referred to the Mandatory Intervension Regime. Can / would I be referred to MIR if volunteering when assessed?
4, My new Jobcentre adviser keeps refusing to sign and date my job search evidence(ES4JP)I provide when I sign on fortnightly. Does she have to sign it? Does she have to sign it if I ask her to do so?
5, My Jobcentre advisers keep asking me to allow DWP access to my Universal Jobmatch Account. Do I have to? Can they mandate me to do so? Do I have to prove printouts of my Universal Jobmatch Account? Do I have to email my CV to the Jobcentre or provide them a hard copy to keep if asked? Can they mandate me to do so?
6, I live-in a house share with random tenants I do not know very well. Some of my food and some of my post has gone missing. Can I ask the Jobcentre in writing to send me letters recorded signed for to ensure the receipt of my Jobcentre notices / letters? Is the Jobcentre going to post me letters recorded signed for if I make a written request and I offer to pay for the extra costs the Jobcentre or its contractors incur?
7, I have seen it on the internet that from April 2014 there will be a new scheme called Help to Work Scheme under which long-term unemployed JSA claimants may be mandated to do unpaid work for up to 30 hours per week for 26 weeks (community work placements).
Can I be mandated to do the above unpaid community work if I do voluntary work of my own choice which the Jobcentre knows about and which I have started already when being assessed whether to be mandated to do the above unpaid community work?
Could you please copy and paste my questions into your reply? Thank you,
11th January 2014
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