What are DWP staff unable to mandate claimants to do?

Jonathan Kendall made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

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Jonathan Kendall

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

1. I would like to know what exemptions there are to DWP staff powers to mandate claimants.

I ask this because it seems unreasonable that DWP staff are able, by threat of benefit sanction, to mandate claimants to do anything they can think of. However, through personal experience, I can say with confidence, some behave exactly as if they do have that right.
To my knowledge, employers are unable legally to force employees to work at weekends or on bank holidays.

2. Are Jobcentre staff able to mandate claimants to provide evidence for Jobsearch on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays?

3. Do I have the right to refuse to provide evidence for weekends and bank holidays?

Consider, as it may be indicted in the rules, that I do not own my own computer. My only means of providing evidence using Jobmatch is by visiting the local library and the local library does not open on Sunday. Also, even on Saturday and Bank Holidays, my Jobsearch evidence via Jobmatch actually depends on my being able to access public computer systems. This requires me to journey from where I live to the city centre.

This is not a question, but I would like to take this opportunity to submit that increasing time spent following Jobcentre directives does nothing but force me to divert more of my time on activities which achieve nothing but spending more of my time maintaining a valid claim to benefit. Obviously, I don't want a claim to benefit, I want a suitable income from a full time job. Having said so, I would like to redirect your attention to the questions which appear in the sentences numbered. Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Jonathan Kendall

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Dear Mr Kendall,
Please find attached the reply to your recent Freedom of Information
request reference number 2277 with associated attachments:
Thank you
DWP Freedom of Information Team

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