Work Search Reviews
1. The Work Search Review forms part of the customer journey we offer to
JSA claimants and is a key part of the service we provide to help
claimants find work. As a minimum, these reviews must be held face to
face every fortnight.
2. We recognise that some claimants may need more regular coaching
and support than others and to help address this, offices will be able to
agree which claimants will benefit from attending Work Search Reviews
3. The purpose of the Work Search Review is to ensure that claimants are
doing all that is reasonably possible each week to look for work and to
look at what they plan to do for the period leading up to their next
review. As a minimum, during the review you should:
Check if the claimant is available for and actively seeking employment
and therefore entitled to any Jobseeker’s Allowance and National
Insurance Credits due. The claimant must do all that is reasonable
to look for work each week
Identify claimants who appear not to be doing all they should to be
actively seeking work for each week of the review period. Referring to a
Labour Market Decision Maker (LMDM) where necessary
Identify any more support needed
follow-up on any activities agreed previously
help the claimant to think about what they are going to do in the weeks
leading up to their next review and to make sure these steps are
recorded in their My Work Plan booklet
The importance of Work Search Reviews
4. Research shows that fortnightly face-to-face Work Search Reviews help
people move from benefit into work more quickly than would otherwise
have been the case.
Frequency of Work Search Reviews
5. As a minimum, unless the claimant has been excused attendance or
has been granted Postal Status, claimants must attend a fortnightly face
to face Work Search Review.
6. Some claimants may benefit from more frequent Work Search Reviews.
In certain circumstances, they may be required to attend Weekly Work
Search Reviews or, for those who have completed the Work
Programme, Daily Work Search Reviews.
7. In these instances claimants will continue to be paid fortnightly, even if
attending more frequently.
8. Alternatively, Work Coaches may have additional contact with claimants
between Work Search Reviews to:
follow up on agreed activity
provide extra support
keep track on progress; or
monitor specific actions
9. This additional contact does not have to be face to face. Claimants
could be contacted over the telephone, by e-mail etc.
10. When arranging for a claimant to attend more regularly, the following
must be explained:
the benefits of more regular reviews. For example, the aim is to provide
them with extra help and support
when they are required to attend, the frequency of these extra reviews
and the number of weeks these are expected to last
what will happen to the claimant, if without good reason, they fail to
attend any of these reviews. For example, they will lose their benefit for
4 weeks or 13 weeks if they’ve already received a lower level sanction
within a 52 week period
that travel expenses will be reimbursed for any days they attend which
are not their fortnightly benefit week ending day
11. At each review, the claimant will sign a labour market declaration, if they
have not already done so on that day. This must be for the period from
either the Date of Claim, or the day after they last made such a
declaration, until the date of this declaration. The only exception to this
is any period where the claimant has been treated as Available and
12. LMS is updated as to whether the claimant has continued to meet the
labour market conditions after each Work Search Review conducted on
the claimant’s Benefit Week Ending date.
13. For example, every Wednesday, if their NINo ends in 34C.
14. JSAPS D470 will continue to be updated after each Work Search
Review conducted at the end of the claimant’s payment cycle (P and R).
15. For example, every other Monday if their NINo ends in 07A
Weekly Work Search Reviews
16. From 1/10/16 all new claimants are required to attend Weekly Work
Search Reviews (WWSR) for the first 13 weeks of their claim.
17. The “Claim Hotspot” must be updated to weekly.
18 It is expected that all claimants making a new claim from 1/10/2016 will
be assigned to WWSR unless exempt from labour market conditions or a
18. The CSOM will ensure compliance with the policy intent where all
claimants entitled to WWSR receive the intervention.
19. Compliance may be supported by the weekly LMS MIS report available
via the MI portal. This provides Dirstricts with the number of claimants
potentially in scope for WWSR, broken down by site.
20. Although the WSRs conducted at the end of the claimant’s payment
cycle (P and R) will continue, the WWSR does not need to be
conducted on the same day of the week as the claimant’s normal
21. The content is the same as any other WSR and provides an additional
opportunity to check progress against activities for which a Jobseekers
Direction has been issued, or follow up actions to meet the
requirements of Day One Conditionality.
22. At every WWSR, a signed labour market declaration is taken from the
23. The existing requirements when claimants attend at the wrong time or
Fail to Attend remain in place.
24. Claimants who fail to attend without good cause could face sanctions.
This is to ensure fairness in the welfare- to- work system as claimants
have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to find work.
25. All claimants who are sanctioned must be informed of hardship
26. Unless exempt, claimants must attend WWSR for the first 13 weeks of
their claim, even if this date changes to an earlier date because of an
allowed back-dated claim.
27. Following the first 13 weeks claimants will have weekly or fortnightly
WSR in line with current procedures.
28. The extension of WWSR will still apply even if the claimant has a
Certain customers will be excluded from Weekly Work Search
29. Excluded from Weekly Signing are;
Claimants who have a short period of sickness evidenced by self-
certification (and/or a Statement of Fitness For Work) After this, the
claimant will need to make a claim for ESA
Claimants receiving or accompanying their child/partner for medical
treatment outside of Great Britain
Claimants attending court or a tribunal as a party to proceedings or as a
Claimants who are prisoners leavers
Claimants whose partner, child or qualifying young person has died
within the past 6 months.
Claimants who are receiving and participating in a structured recovery
orientated course for alcohol or drugs.
Claimants who have recently been a victim of domestic violence
Claimants who are responsible carers of a ‘child in distress’ due to
bereavement or being a victim /witnessing violence and abuse
(including domestic violence and abuse)
Claimants who are an Armed Forces reservist
Claimants who are undertaking an Open University course and
attending a residential camp as a requirement of that course
Claimants who are engaged in a public service (such as when
performing duties as a fire-fighter, lifeboat volunteer, coastguard or
councillor) or attending jury service
Claimants who are attending a job interview abroad
Claimants who are absent abroad with a partner who receives a
pension or disability premium
Claimants who are looking after a child full-time where the person who
usually looks after them
Claimants who are attending an employment programme
Claimants who are Postal Signers
Claimants who have a domestic emergency
Claimants becoming/being homeless
30. Linking rules do not apply. If a claimant stops claiming JSA then
reclaims, the 13 week WWSR period starts again. There is no balance
of time rule.
Undertaking the Work Search Review (WSR)
Preparing for the Review
31. Before the start of a WSR, the latest copy of the Claimant Commitment,
and existing information on LMS should be checked to identify if the
has a physical or mental health issue that means they require a
Reasonable Adjustment and ensure that it is put in place
needs to demonstrate that they have completed any specific activities
agreed during their last contact. This could include specific actions
agreed, such as following up on any jobs you have referred the claimant
to apply for or reviewing if the claimant has completed any outstanding
Day One Conditionality activities;
needs reminding about any future Follow-up Work Search Interviews
with you; or
has any other markers set on LMS, such as the Parent or Child Barriers
to Work markers and that appropriate action has been taken.
Starting the Review
32. At the start of the review, you must always start the review on LMS and:
introduce yourself and explain the purpose of the review
verify the claimant’s identity
check that the claimant has attended at the correct time and day
identify if any travel expenses need to be refunded
check if the claimant is on any Mandatory Provision
If they are on Mandatory Provision (except sector-based work
academies (sbwa) and Skills Conditionality), check LMS for any
decision making and appeals (DMA) referrals made by providers
check the claimant’s method of payment
identify and arrange any Follow-up Work Search Interviews due
consider if claimant is eligible for an apprenticeship and if so, tell them
about the benefits and encourage them to take up an apprenticeship.
33. DWP deals with a wide range of customers who at some point in their
lives may be vulnerable because of life events or disability.
34. The definition of vulnerability for DWP purposes is “An individual who is
identified as having complex needs and/or requires additional support to
enable them to access DWP benefits and use our services”.
35. The Individual vulnerable situations are described throughout the
Customer Service A-Z and the Vulnerability instructions also contain
further information about how to support these claimants.
Customers who directly declare, or whose behaviour indicates, an
intention to attempt suicide or self harm.
36. This definition also includes claimants who may directly declare, or
whose behaviour indicates, an intention to attempt suicide or self-harm.
37. It is possible claimants might say they intend to hurt or kill themselves at
any point during any intervention we have with them and so it is
important to know how to handle this situation.
38. Each office should have a localised version of DWP’s six point plan that
sets the framework for managing these declarations. It is very important
that all staff are aware of their office’s six point plan and be able to
follow it should the need arise.
39. The basic principles of the localised six point plan should be based on
take the statement to self-harm or suicide seriously;
summon a colleague;
summon emergency help if the claimant is considered to be at serious
risk or in immediate danger; and
review the incident.
40. More information about managing customer declarations of intent to
attempt suicide or self-harm can be found in the DWP HR intranet
41. Human trafficking is the fastest growing form of slavery today and is
prohibited under international law, as well as under the criminal laws of
the UK and other countries.
42. It can include movement of a person from one place to another into
conditions of exploitation, including benefit fraud. DWP aims to identify
and direct victims of human trafficking to agencies able to support them
at the earliest opportunity.
43. Indicators for victims of human trafficking or slavery include:
employed for no or minimal wages
residing in communal accommodation
identity document held by their landlord or employer
applications for NINos or benefits facilitated by a third party
always accompanied by a third party who answers questions on behalf
of the claimant
groups of people of the same nationality whose entry to the UK and or
employment seems to be controlled by a third party
common mobile numbers or addresses from apparently unrelated
44. There is no specific guidance for staff, but if you suspect a claimant may
be a victim of trafficking, refer the case to the Fraud and Error Service
via the desktop Fraud Referral icon.
45. Complete the referral in the usual way but select ‘Identity Fraud’ from
the ‘other offences’ box, providing as much detail as possible and
specifying human trafficking
46. Further information can be found on the Human Trafficking Customer
Service A-Z entry.
Verifying the claimant’s identity
Please see instructions on Verifying Identity
Checking LMS for DMA referrals from Providers (except sbwa
and Skills Conditionality)
47. You (during Advisory Interviews or Work Search Reviews) must check
the LMS records of JSA claimants on mandatory provision for any
Decision Making and Appeals (DMA) referrals made by providers. The
following process must be followed:
Click the [Decn] button to open the ‘View Referral/Decision Details -
Name’ window. Note: If the button reads [NoDec], there are no provider
DMA referrals and the check is complete.
If there is a provider DMA referral shown in the ‘View Referral/Decision
Details - Name’ window (see screenshot example below):
48. You must:
Inform the JSA claimant of the type of doubt referred by the provider
and ask if a Labour Market Decision Maker (LMDM) has contacted them
to explain their reason(s) for not doing what was asked of them by the
If the claimant says they have been contacted and given their reason(s)
to the LMDM, tell them if a sanction is applied, JSA cannot be paid and
explain about Hardship.
If the claimant says they have not been contacted, explain that they will
be contacted shortly by the LMDM and the importance of giving their
reasons to the LMDM and tell them if a sanction is applied, JSA cannot
be paid and explain about Hardship.
This check is not required for claimants on sbwa and Skills
Conditionality provision because DMA referrals from these providers are
not sent direct to LMDM Admin Teams.
Reviewing Work Search Activity
49. A discussion with the claimant must always take place, to find out what
they have been doing to look for work each week within the payment
period in question. This is to confirm the claimant has been actively
seeking work, by undertaking all that can be reasonably expected and
can therefore be paid any Jobseeker’s Allowance/National Insurance
50. You need to be satisfied that the claimant has remained available for
work, taking any agreed restrictions on the Claimant Commitment into
account. For example, someone with caring responsibilities may have
agreed restrictions around the hours they can work to fit in with their
Actively Seeking Employment
51. In terms of Actively Seeking Employment, each week, claimants are
required to do all that can be reasonably expected to give themselves
the best chances of finding work. The work search activities that the
claimant is expected to undertake each week will have been agreed at
their Initial Work Search Interview and recorded on the Claimant
52. Claimant’s will have been encouraged to turn these activities into
realistic and detailed commitments, explaining what they are going to do
and how, when and where they are going to do it, in their ‘My Work
53. This information along with other supporting evidence should be used to
help inform the Work Search Review and determine if
the claimant has provided enough information to enable a judgement on
if they have met the ASE condition
the actions they have taken are all that they could have reasonably
ASE for prison leavers working with Community
Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs)
Although Community Rehabilitation Companies do not operate in
Scotland, these policies and procedures apply to those providing similar
support to prison leavers.
54. Some prison leavers will have had their access to the WP deferred
because they are undertaking activities to resettle into the community.
55. Resettlement activities must be taken into account when assessing
whether a claimant has met the ASE condition of entitlement by doing
all that could be reasonably expected of them to look for work.
56. If a claimant states that undertaking a resettlement activity meant that
they could not undertake certain agreed Work Search activities or
undertake them as frequently as agreed, the impact of undertaking the
resettlement activity on their Work Search Activity must be considered
when deciding whether the claimant did all that could be reasonably
expected of them to find work.
DMA must only be taken if, having taken account of any
Resettlement Activities, the claimant does not do all that
could be reasonably expected of them to look for work. Detail
of information provided
57. For conditionality to be effective, claimants need to understand what is
expected of them and the type and amount of information the claimant
will be expected to provide about what they have done to look for work.
The amount of evidence provided will determine if further probing
questions should be used to help to verify, or expand that information.
if the claimant has looked online, they should be asked to provide
details of the websites and what they found
if the claimant has looked in newspapers, which ones, on which days
and what was found?
if the claimant has visited potential employers, when did they visit and
who did they speak to?
if the claimant has sent speculative CVs, when was this? Have they
heard anything and, if not, have they followed up with a phone call?
Level of activity undertaken
58. Looking for work and meeting the high level work search requirements
is demanding and can be a full-time job in itself. It is not unreasonable
to expect claimants (with no agreed restrictions) to spend a large
amount of their time looking for work.
59. To help claimants recognise and understand how much they can
reasonably be expected to do each week, they should be advised to
think about whether they could have actually done more than they
Ben is a single man of 20, who lives with his parents. He recently completed
a two year apprenticeship in Information and Communication Technology
(ICT) but was unable to secure a permanent job. He has no restrictions on
his availability or any health issues that would affect the type of work he can
do. In addition to ICT, he has included general administrative work on his
One of Ben’s actions for getting work outlined on his Claimant Commitment is
to search online for jobs and apply for all those he is able to do.
To meet this, Ben accessed reed.co.uk 3 times each week, jobsite 4 times
each week and Indeed.co.uk twice each week. He found a total of 9 suitable
vacancies and he applied for 5 of them.
There are a number of things that Ben needs to think about here. For
is conducting 9 online searches each week as much as he could have
done, should he have done more
was he limiting himself by not extending this search to include Universal
why did he only apply for 5 of the 9 suitable vacancies he found?
The discussion needs to include an element of questioning. However, it
should not be seen as ‘an interrogation’ but rather taking a less direct, more
persuasive approach, making suggestions and allowing the claimant to think
for themselves. For example, instead of asking: “Why did you only do 9
searches each week?” it might be better for him to be asked: “Is there a
reason why you didn’t search each site every day? Was it because they
weren’t updated that quickly? If not, he could be asked if he thinks he could
increase the number of his searches and to what level he thinks would be
Also, rather than asking: “Why didn’t you access Universal Jobmatch?” it
might be better for him to be asked if there are any reasons why he doesn’t
find UJ useful. It might be that there were IT issues that prevented him from
accessing it, or he may have struggled to navigate it.
The more Ben can think for himself, realise his own capabilities and take
ownership, the more he is likely to push himself and increase his level of work
Considering whether the level of activity is enough to meet
the ASE condition
60. The more information a claimant can provide about their work search
activities, the less doubt there is to if they have met the requirements
under Actively Seeking Employment.
61. To avoid any doubts, claimants need to understand:
what we expect of them
what information we are looking for
the kind of examples they can use to provide it
what will happen to them if they don’t meet the conditions for Actively
Seeking Employment? That is, that their benefit will stop and they will
no longer qualify for Jobseeker’s Allowance and that if they make a new
claim after such a failure, they may not receive their benefit for up to 4
weeks or 13 weeks if they’ve previously had an intermediate sanction
within a 52 week period.
Planning the activities over the next review period
62. The second part of the Work Search Review should focus on forward
planning. You should explain that planning and structuring work search
activities will give the claimant the best chance of finding suitable work.
It will also help confirm the claimant’s ongoing entitlement to
Jobseeker’s Allowance by showing they have done all they could
reasonably be expected to do, each week, to get a job.
63. Claimants should ideally come to the Work Search Review with a plan
of the specific actions they intend to do in the next 2 weeks, in the My
Work Plan document. This should have been discussed with them
during their Work Search Interview.
64. If their planning is lacking you should encourage and make suggestions
about how it could be improved. The claimant should be advised to
think about their next steps and record what they are going to do either
in the review (time permitting) or if not, immediately after their review
whilst the discussion is still fresh in their mind.
65. The claimant’s forward plans should include what other activities they
are going to do as part of their regular work search activities outlined on
their Claimant Commitment but may also include any follow-up action
from previous commitments such as:
following up job applications and speculative contacts
preparing for interviews with employers
Claimant does not use the ‘My Work Plan’ booklet to provide
66. The benefits of using the ‘My Work Plan’ booklet will have been
explained to the claimant at the Initial Work Search Interview. The My
Work Plan booklet benefits the claimant by:
enabling a claimant to plan and structure work search activities
acting as a reminder of the commitments they have agreed
making it easier for the claimant to record the detailed actions they have
taken to meet those commitments
67. We would strongly encourage claimants to use this booklet as a helpful
tool to plan their work search. Whilst this is not mandatory, claimants
must provide sufficient evidence of their work search activity to satisfy
the Actively Seeking Employment condition, the ‘My Work Plan’ booklet
is therefore an easy way for them to do this.
68. However, for those claimants who choose not to use the ‘My Work Plan’
booklet and who do not appear to be providing sufficient evidence by
another means, you should consider re-emphasising the benefits of
using it and explain that it will make it easier for the claimant to provide
their evidence. See the good practice guidance about making effective
plans for more information.
Doubt regarding claimant’s Work Search Activity / availability
69. If there is a clear doubt as to whether the claimant has carried out the
required level of Work Search Activity each week or been available for
work, as agreed in their Claimant Commitment, the claimant must be
formally told about the doubt and details must be immediately referred
to a Decision Maker. The work coach must also make the claimant
aware of the availability of hardship and record in LMS Conversations
that the discussion has taken place.
70. If it is determined that a referral to a Decision Maker is appropriate:
a labour market declaration is taken, either on the appropriate form
ES24 or on Signature Capture Service
dialogue 470 is input in JSAPS, unless this is automatically done via
Signature Capture Service
the claimant’s benefit payment is suspended on JSAPS
a referral is made using LMS and DART
Decision made by Decision Maker
71. Details of the action taken when a Decision Maker has made a decision
can be found in the Labour Market Conditions Guide.
Claimant attends a Work Search Review following a
72. When the claimant attends a Work Search Review following a
suspension and if there is no longer a doubt about whether they have
met the availability and actively seeking conditions, you should take a
labour market signature for the period following the suspension up to
the date they attend.
Recording the Outcome of Work Search Reviews on LMS
73. The outcome of the review must always be recorded on LMS.
74. That is, confirmation that the Claimant Commitment is still current and
that the claimant has met or not met the Actively Seeking Employment
: Failure to do so will incur an official error for Monetary Value Fraud and
Booking the next Work Search Review Appointment
75. Claimants will have a set day of attendance, but the time of their
appointment may need to vary to accommodate diary commitments.
Therefore, you will need to make sure that after scheduling the
claimants next Work Search Review appointment on LMS, the claimant
fully understands this by recording the day and time of attendance in the
table on the ‘My Appointments page on the WS1 (insert) which should
be attached to their My Work Plan booklet (WS1).
76. Work Search Reviews must be booked through LMS and there are two
new appointment types within the ‘General Advisory/Benefits Interviews’
sub category on LMS to support this. These are:
Work Search Review – 10 mins
Work Search Review – 20 mins
77. In the majority of cases we expect 10 minute Work Search Reviews to
be enough. However, there is the flexibility to book a 20 minute Work
Search Review if needed. For example; you have asked a claimant to
do a number of specific activities and/or issued them with a Jobseeker’s
Direction that will need following up during their next appointment.
Note: These appointment types must not be used
for Work Programme
Participants who will continue to attend Work Search Reviews with an
Assistant Work Coach.
78. It is also helpful to remind the claimant how to contact you if they are
unable to attend any of their future appointments.
79. As part of making use of the resources available to them to look for
work, we can reasonably expect most claimants to make best use of
80. However, there will be instances where claimants are not able to use
Universal Jobmatch or may not appear to be using Universal Jobmatch
to their best advantage. In these instances you may need to search for
suitable vacancies on behalf of a claimant and in some instances
formally require claimants to apply for these jobs. For example:
the claimant is not yet able to make best use of self-help vacancy
channels (if this is the case, support should be provided to address the
there are doubts about the activities the claimant says they are doing.
For example, they claim to be going online, but say that no suitable
vacancies are available
81. Further information about how to require claimants to apply for jobs can
be found in Chapter 3 of the Universal Jobmatch Toolkit.
82. You must follow-up on any jobs the claimant has been required to apply
for to identify if Refusal of Employment action needs to be taken. That
is, where the claimant has failed, without good reason, to apply for any
vacancies that they have formally been told to apply for.
Part-time work and or Reported Changes of Circumstances
83. Action must be taken if the claimant declares that they have done any
part time work or have had a change of circumstances.
Labour Market Declaration
84. Ask the claimant to sign for the period on the Signature Capture Service
Pad. There will also be some claimants in exceptional circumstances,
who cannot provide a signature in SCS – for example, because they do
not have a National Insurance number or there was an IT failure or local
situation such as a power cut, which means a signature will need to be
provided on a clerical form ES24JP instead. In which case, JSAPS
dialogue JA470 must be input as appropriate. Non-claimants must be
asked to read and sign the Labour Market declaration on a clerical form
CR2, not in SCS or on a clerical form ES24JP.
85. Some claimants may require additional consideration at their Work
Search Review. If the claimant falls within one of these categories,
additional guidance is available as appropriate:
Drug and/or alcohol dependency
Potentially Violent claimants
Claimant is homeless/a person without address
Lone Parent restrictions
Childcare and recording child details
Import and Export of Benefit
Restrictions for Claimant’s with caring responsibilities for children
Disabled claimant with more complex support needs arising from their
disability - see ES18 page 2
86. Quality standards should be set and monitored using the Work Search
Review Quality Assurance Framework.
Booking the Work Programme Referral Interview
87. The claimant’s Work Programme Referral Interview trigger point is
identified by the ‘This customer is eligible for the Work Programme and
can be immediately referred’
This hotspot displays from 2 weeks before the claimant’s Work
Programme Referral Interview trigger point.
The Work Programme Referral Interview should be booked as close
as possible to the claimant’s trigger point.
The purpose of the Work Programme Referral Interview is to explain
the next steps to the claimant, highlighting the benefits of the Work
Programme and explaining their rights, responsibilities and conditionality
The Work Programme Referral Interview should normally be
conducted face to face, however you can consider conducting a referral
interview over the phone in exceptional circumstances
As with other interviews, attending the Work Programme Referral
Interview is mandatory and Fail to Attend action is taken as appropriate.
Fail to Attend action does not apply to telephone interviews and a
subsequent face to face interview should be booked.
Regardless of if the referral to the Work Programme is voluntary or
mandatory the Work Programme Referral Interview is booked using LMS
interview type ‘Work Programme – JSA Referral’.
Work Search Reviews for claimants participating in the Work
95. Claimants referred to the Work Programme (WP) must continue to
attend face-to-face Work Search Reviews with Jobcentre Plus, on
at least a fortnightly basis. However, these must be undertaken by
Assistant Work Coaches only and the Work search Review – 10
mins’ or ‘Work Search Review – 20 mins’ Interview Type
appointment types must not be used
. See the Work Search
Reviews for Claimants on the Work Programme guidance for more
Work Search Reviews for claimants participating in sector-
based work academies
96. Claimants participating in sector-based work academies are required to
be actively seeking work and available for work. The exception to this
is where pre-employment training is between 16 and 30 hours a week.
97. In these cases, the claimant is not required to be Actively Seeking
Employment or Available for work during the time they are undertaking
the training element of sbwa.
98. However, policy intent is that claimants should still attend Work Search
Reviews, to show that they are taking steps towards gaining
employment. The sector-based work academies guidance details the
action to take.
JSA Full-Time Training Flexibility (England only)
99. Claimants in JSA Full-Time Training Flexibility are not required to
be Actively Seeking Employment or Available for work. However,
policy intent is that claimants should still attend Work Search
Reviews to show that they are taking steps towards gaining
employment. The Skills Guide details the action to take.