Can a jobseeker be mandated to use IADs in Jobcentres?

The request was successful.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Please refer to this FOI response: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/1...

where it is stated:

"A3. Claimants will not be mandated to use IADs available in Jobcentre Plus offices and will, therefore, not be sanctioned if they refuse to use them. Use of IADs by claimants is voluntary."

Please provide the legislation and/or regulations which confirm that jobseekers cannot be mandated to use IADs in Jobcentres.

Please also confirm that if a jobseeker exercises their right not to use an IAD in the Jobcentre that they would not be sanctioned if they also refuse to create and/or use a Universal Jobmatch account by way of the IAD.

Yours faithfully,

Jason Davies

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

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Mary Sanderson left an annotation ()

Very interesting!

Jack Silverside left an annotation ()

Nice one Jason
Also big thanks to Gazz for thinking outside the box with the original request.

Hopefully we should know soon (positive outcome for us), but if this comes back as a mistake it speaks volumes about the quality and accuracy of the DWP info under the FOI act.

Enquiries should be made.

Mary Sanderson left an annotation ()

This question brings us back to Jobcentre being able to ask Jobseekers to use IADs to produce evidence of Jobsearch as per the UJM tool kit.

This no longer appears to be the case.

UJM Toolkit
Reviewing jobsearch activity - claimant using Universal Jobmatch
(No DWP access to their account)
87. You may ask claimants to show: prints of any number or all of the screens/pages detailed in the paragraph 86 from their Universal
Jobmatch account.
87. You may ask claimants to show: prints of any number or all of the screens/pages detailed in the paragraph 86
(Activity,History,Application History,Alerts,Messages,Saved
Jobs,Recommended Jobs,Saved Searches)from their Universal Jobmatch account.
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 IAD, you must tell them they have to login to their account from an available IAD in your office and provide evidence of the jobsearch activity they have carried out or recorded in their account, e.g. by printing off copies of these screens/pages

Jack Silverside left an annotation ()

I hope so Mary, but don’t count your chickens until Jason gets his response.
After all, they may have let the Caxton House office Teaboy handle the requests today.

www.consent.me.uk (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

re: "You may ask claimants to show...."

The keyword is "ask".

www.consent.me.uk (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

It is worth noting that on Gazz's request, it did not drift into forum like annotations discussions which would have alerted the DWP to wider implications, which could have ended with a very different kind of response?

Find it very interesting how the implications of the request https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/w... are being presented as a DWP error, when as it stands it is clear cut and unambiguous?

DWP has 20 working days to consider before responding to FOI requests and cannot see why this response would not have gone through some sort of vetting or quality control, being as they are published into the public domain and not all DWP staff will have the authority or technical ability to email and publish direct to WDTK.

IADs have been in jobcentres for some considerable time and as said https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/w... most people had been focusing on cookie regs.

Jack Silverside left an annotation ()

It’s not like the DWP don’t contradict themselves on a regular basis, for example
Users rights to refuse consent vs no right of consent (both concering JCP IAD’s)
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/1...
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/1...

It’s always advisable to air on the side of caution until a confirmation has been issued.
I wouldn't take the risk of a sanction based on a single FOI response from the Caxton House IT department.

Would you ?

Mary Sanderson left an annotation ()

Unfortunatley, FOI responses are not always conclusive as the officer cannot interpret legislation.

Jobseekers have been sanctioned for failing to supply corroborated evidence of their job search activity; this is despite the fact that in MOST cases there is no need to corroborate evidence in a court of law.

FOI responses give us pointers, which are useful but cannot be relied upon when legal interpretation is required.

DWP are constantly changing guidance, which should reflect the relevant legislation. However, as the new Welfare Reform Act has not been fully tested in the courts, it will continue to evolve.

Hopefully, sites like this help some people to find the meaning and intended practical application of the relevant legislation.

Stuart O left an annotation ()

@Mary Sanderson

Those excerpts are from the old Toolkit Guidance.

See this FoI response + updated guidance (maybe you have!):
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/u...

And this:

http://unemploymentmovement.com/forum/un...

The addition of point 90 is the workaround to the non-mandatory requirement to use IADs.

Operations FOI Requests, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Please find attached our response to your Freedom of Information request
 
DWP Freedom of Information Team.
 
 
 

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www.consent.me.uk (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Interesting clause:

"JSA Work Programme (WP) participants
90. You must not mandate JSA WP participants to create a profile and public CV in Universal Jobmatch."
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/1...

Stuart O left an annotation ()

Another change to the guidance.

Key use of language:

"suggest this may"
"advise the claimant" (IAD specific)

from:

"72. ...if the claimant does not wish to allow DWP access to their account (and this is their decision not
ours) suggest this may take the form of:
 Prints of their CV screens/pages 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
 Showing us these CV screens/pages from their Universal Jobmatch account if they
have access to the internet on a smartphone. Districts will need to consider the guidance on Restricted Use of Electronic Media in Jobcentres although paragraph 7
in this guidance enables offices to allow claimants to use their mobiles for this purpose.
73. 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 IAD, advise the claimant that they can login to
their UJ account from an available IAD in your office and print off the relevant CV
screens/pages."

The key paragraph:

74. However, the onus is on the claimant to provide evidence that they have created a profile
and public CV by whatever means they choose."

The need to provide corroborative evidence of jobsearch activity (IAD, screen print-out, smartphone screens) is not included in these excerpts.

A request for the latest Toolkit version is here:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/t...

www.consent.me.uk (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

This:
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=compar...
maybe handy when comparing changes to any published text/Jobcentre guidance and development of FOI requests. The Jobmatch guidance/Toolkit has gone through at least 40 versions and is subject to constant amendment.

Dear Operations FOI Requests,

Thank you for your reply.

You have not provided an adequate response because I did not just pose a question. Legislation was also requested specific to the quoted DWP response and the information provided does not sufficiently address that.

It may be that my request was not worded sufficiently well so I will reiterate it in what I hope is a clearer fashion.

The referenced DWP FOI response states:

"A3. Claimants will not be mandated to use IADs available in
Jobcentre Plus offices and will, therefore, not be sanctioned if
they refuse to use them. Use of IADs by claimants is voluntary."

The statement is clear, unambiguous and not open to interpretation. In that light please be sure to respond to each of the following questions.

1. Is the statement in its entirety correct?

2. If it is correct on what legislative basis is the statement correct, i.e. what legislation and/or guidelines specify that use of IADs - for ALL jobseekers - is voluntary and cannot be mandated.

3. Please confirm that if the statement is correct then as a consequence jobseekers would specifically not be sanctioned for refusing to register with Universal Jobmatch on IADs in a Jobcentre and, more generally, not be sanctioned for refusing to use any other service via the Jobcentre IADs.

Yours sincerely,

Jason Davies

Mary Sanderson left an annotation ()

Consent me

Re: Changes to guidance.

This is the norm right now, it never used to be this way.

It explains all the confusion for claimants as well as Jobcentre staff.

Johnny Russell left an annotation ()

@ Consent Me-

'90. You must not mandate JSA WP participants to create a profile and public CV in Universal
Jobmatch. This is because it is for WP Providers to determine and provide the support their
participants need to find work including (where appropriate) mandatory requirements.
Separate guidance is being prepared for WP Providers on the use of UJ.'

Do you know anything about this 'separate guidance?' Am I correct in thinking WP Providers should not (currently, at least) be mandating claimants to register with UJ?

Jason Davies left an annotation ()

Johnny I imagine the new guidance will come into effect in October when the Claimant Commitment starts to be rolled out. Certainly at the moment I can't see how a provider can mandate anyone to use UJM.

Dear Operations FOI Requests,

It has now been one month since my last message. Please do me the courtesy of providing a prompt reply.

Yours sincerely,

Jason Davies

Operations FOI Requests, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Davies
 
Please find attached our response to your Freedom of Information review
request.
 
DWP Freedom of Information Team.
 
 
 

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