The scandal hit bodged Government spam site Universal Jobmatch will become mandatory in the next few days.
It seems that despite the well documented security problems, which still exist, claimants could be given a Jobseekers Direction to register an account with the site from the beginning of March – some Jobcentres seem to be saying that means tomorrow, the PCS Union have said Monday. There should still be no requirement to tick the box giving the Jobcentre access to your account.
Internet cookie legislation means claimants can still refuse to use the site from their home computer – and there is really no need to tell the Jobcentre you have a home computer. Jobcentres will be providing Internet Access Devices for those unable or unwilling to use a home PC.
DWP staff training documents have recently been acquired via a Free of Information request and are worth reading.
The documents are unclear as to how advisors should respond if a claimant refuses to agree to the website’s terms and conditions stating:
“If a user does not agree to the terms and conditions they are directed to speak to their adviser to discuss their reasons for declining. The claimant will read the disclaimer and then scroll to the lower edge of the page to accept the conditions. “
One interesting point raised in the document training Jobcentre staff themselves on use of the new devices is the risk of identity fraud from people ‘shoulder surfing’. Staff are warned that areas where the machines are used should be monitored to prevent this. And they are right. Internet cafes and libraries have no such protection. Therefore those without computers forced to access Universal Jobmatch as part of their Jobseeker’s Agreement would be advised to request to only do so in the Jobcentre. Truth is even if you have got a computer you might as well sit in the Jobcentre and use theirs, especially with heating bills being what they are.
And so the chaos begins. If millions of people are to be expected to use the new website, and many, most or even a few only elect to use it in Jobcentres, then the system will quickly reach meltdown. An earlier FOI request revealed that: “Nationally the total number of Internet Access Devices purchased is 2176″. That means for JSA claimants alone there is just one computer available for every 700 people. These are the computers Iain Duncan Smith has said he will haul people into Jobcentres to use everyday should they refuse to allow the DWP access to their Universal Jobmatch account. Whoops.
For the latest info on Universal Jobmatch read, share, tweet and keep an eye on: http://consent.me.uk/universaljobmatch/
UPDATE: consent.me.uk (@refuted) on twitter makes the important point: “DWP can only mandate
#UniversalJobmatch use & registration @ Jobcentres. No where else, inc Home, Library, Cafes, Cell phone etc”
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