Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
Central Freedom of Information Team
email@example.com Our reference:
6 March 2017
Dear Mr Shepherd
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 13 February
2017. You asked:
Can a Work Coach demand i present my work search evidence in a pacific
way that they demand it in, ie web sites that the jobs was found on and failing
to right this information in the my work plan book ws1 will result in a benefit
sanction even tho i have met the required jobs to apply for in the claimant
commitment, just not have listed the web sites the jobs was applied on in my
work plan ws1 booklet.
as my adviser is now demanding this yet have not had a problem with any
other adviser in the last year.
my claimant commitment states.
use job sites and employer websites to find and apply for jobs i can do.
it does not state that i have to provide every web site i use to look for work
and give it to them in writing each time i sign on.
the work coach also now says not to use the ujm web site which has jobs from
sites all over the internet job recruitment sites anyway and has cost the dwp
millions of pounds to create.
as a result of not providing the other web sites i use on my work search
activity ws1 other than the ujm site i have now got a sanction for this even tho
i have applied for 25 jobs a week on the ujm web site and have done so for
the last year with no problems from the 7 other work coaches i have had at
Before I reply to your requests it may be helpful if I explain the role of the
Freedom of Information Act. The Act provides a right of access to recorded
information held by a public authority like DWP (subject to certain
exemptions). The Act does not provide that a public authority must create new
information to answer questions; nor does it provide that a public authority
give advice, opinion or explanation in relation to issues/policies under
In cases where a customer does ask a question, rather than request recorded
information, we do our utmost to provide the recorded information that best
answers the question. Once the public authority has provided the recorded
information or confirmed that no such recorded information is held, it has met
its obligations under the Act. Interpretation of any information provided is left
to the requestor.
We have understood your requests to relate to Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
claimants to whom the Jobseekers Act 1995 and Jobseeker’s Allowance
Regulations 1996 apply. The recorded information which best answers your
questions can be found in an extract from Chapter 03 of the Universal
Jobmatch Toolkit which has been copied below - paragraphs 82 to 94 explain
how Jobcentre Plus staff may review the jobsearch activity of a JSA claimant: Actively Seeking Employment
82. You cannot specify to a JSA claimant how they provide us with records of
their jobsearch activity and Universal Jobmatch will not change this – it is not
therefore possible to require JSA claimants to give DWP access to their
Universal Jobmatch account.
83. You will continue to review jobsearch activity and record the outcome on
LMS in the usual way for JSA claimants and look at all the evidence provided
by claimants to determine if there is an ASE doubt. This may be in various
forms and these are explained in the Labour Market Conditions Guide.
84. However, Universal Jobmatch will be a key tool you can use in
appropriate cases to review whether a claimant has taken all reasonable
steps to have the best prospects of finding work.
85. How you review jobsearch activity will depend on whether the claimant is
using Universal Jobmatch and if so, has given DWP access to their account.
Reviewing jobsearch activity - claimant using Universal Jobmatch (DWP
has access to their account)
86. You will look at any number or all of the following screens/pages from the
claimant’s Universal Jobmatch account:
Reviewing jobsearch activity - claimant using Universal Jobmatch (No
DWP access to their account)
87. To help assess that a claimant is actively seeking work you may suggest
that they show you:
prints of any number or all of the screens/pages detailed in paragraph 86
from their Universal Jobmatch account. However, this will not be possible
for claimants who do not have access to a printer or cannot afford to print
out copies of these pages; or
any number or all of the screens/pages detailed in paragraph 86 from their
Universal Jobmatch account if they have access to the internet on a
88. If it is not possible for the claimant to do any of the above, or the claimant
does not wish to accept cookies and so needs to use a DWP Customer
Computer, advise the claimant that they can login to their UJ account and
print off copies of the relevant screens/pages from an available DWP
Customer Computer in your office.
89. However, the onus is on the claimant to provide evidence of their
jobsearch activity (by whatever means they choose).
90. Therefore if a claimant does not wish to do this, you will need to base your
assessment on the evidence they have provided. If this is insufficient and you
are not completely satisfied they have met the requirements to actively seek
work, raise a labour market doubt in the usual way.
Reviewing jobsearch activity - claimant not using Universal Jobmatch
91.In cases where a claimant is not using Universal Jobmatch, they will show
the steps they can be reasonably expected to take to actively seek work that
can give them the best prospects of employment, through other means.
92.In these cases, you will review a claimant’s jobsearch activity using the
evidence they provide as described in paragraph 83.
Referral to a Decision Maker required
93.Any doubts identified as a result of the evidence provided (however
presented) will need to be referred to a Decision Maker in the usual way.
Action required by Decision Maker
94.You will make your decision in the usual way.
In addition to this I have also provided extracts of guidance from Chapters 04
and 05 of the Labour Market Instructions used by Work Coaches which helps
to explain that the more information a claimant can provide about their work
search the less likely their will be a doubt about whether they have met their
Actively Seeking Employment requirements or not.
Chapter 04 - My Work Plan Booklet
The My Work Plan Booklet
4. The expectation is that the Jobcentre will work with claimants to actively
use the My Work Plan booklet. The claimant should be actively encouraged to
use their My Work Plan booklet to record their plans as it will help them to
better plan, manage and review their work search activity. It will also provide a
strong basis upon which it can be determined whether the claimant is meeting
their requirements for actively seeking work, and make it easy for the claimant
to provide evidence that they are undertaking reasonable steps to secure
5. It is not mandatory for claimants to use the My Work Plan booklet, however
Work Coaches must issue them with the booklet as it contains important
information about sanctions and appointment times as well as useful
information on how to plan.
6. There may be times when the claimant has recorded their activities to the
same standard in a different format. In cases like these, the coach should
then encourage the claimant to revert to use of the My Work Plan booklet.
However, this booklet is not a mandatory product for demonstrating evidence
of work search and claimants have the right to demonstrate what they have
done to look for work through whichever means they deem suitable and most
7. For example, the claimant may prefer to use Universal Jobmatch to record
their activities and their plans for what they will do to look for work or may
bring in a CV that they have developed to demonstrate that they have
undertaken this activity. Claimants can use their Universal Jobmatch account
to show details of:
CVs created and saved
application history, and
Chapter 05 – Work Search Reviews
Considering whether the level of activity is enough to meet the ASE
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.
I have also included below, an extract from the Labour Market Conditions
Guide which says:
The evidence of jobsearch produced when they attend to have their regular
reviews may be in various forms:
information they have provided from their Universal Jobmatch account;
evidence in writing from employers, employment agencies, or other
organisations which they have contacted;
copies of letters they have sent to employers;
the claimant’s un-corroborated written evidence, for example an ES4;
the claimant’s verbal evidence
evidence from previous Jobsearch Reviews recorded on LMS.
This is supported by:
Section 8(1),(b) of the Jobseekers Act 1995 which says:
Regulations may make provision for requiring a claimant [(other than a
joint-claim couple claiming a joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance)] to
provide information and such evidence as may be prescribed as to his
circumstances, his availability for employment and the extent to which
he is actively seeking employment.
Regulation 24(1) of the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations 1996 which
A claimant shall provide such information as to his circumstances, his
availability for employment and the extent to which he is actively
seeking employment as may be required by the Secretary of State in
order to determine the entitlement of the claimant to a jobseeker’s
allowance, whether that allowance is payable to him and, if so, in what
The Jobseekers Act 1995 and the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations 1996
are available via the DWP Website at the following internet addresses,
If you have any queries about this letter please contact us quoting the
reference number above.
DWP Central FoI Team
Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act
If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
or by writing to: DWP, Central FoI Team,
Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two
months of the date of this letter.
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decision unless you have exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF www.ico.org.uk/Global/contact_us
or telephone 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745