UPDATE 27/2/13: Registering an account with Universal Jobmatch will become mandatory from the beginning of March 2013. There should still be no requirement to tick the box giving DWP access to your account. For the latest details and what this means for claimants keep an eye on: http://consent.me.uk/2013/02/26/mandatory/
Whilst Iain Duncan Smith and the DWP have continually muddied the waters, it has been down to the PCS Union to publish comprehensive guidance on the current policies relating to Universal Jobmatch.
Ever since the new job seeking website was launched confusion has reigned over whether unemployed people could be forced to sign up to the site under threat of benefit sanctions. Iain Duncan Smith claimed before Christmas that signing up to the scam and spam plagued website would become mandatory in the New Year. According to the guidance published by the PCS, and countless anecdotal stories from around the UK, some DWP managers had decided it was mandatory already.
Thanks to some dogged work from @refuted – who has kept a cool head throughout the shambles – along with the welcome information from the PCS, the situation is now clear.
(this may change of course, but this is the current policy)
It is not mandatory to sign up to Universal Jobmatch.
Jobseekers Directions cannot be issued if a claimant refuses to sign up to the website.
It is not mandatory for claimants to tick the box giving the DWP access to their accounts.
The crucial paragraph from the PCS, which can be easily copied and handed out (or even stuck up places), states:
“Jobseeker Directions and Mandatory Use of UJ
PCS was aware that, despite assurances otherwise from the UJ project of DWP, management in some jobcentre districts were instructing advisers to tell claimants that UJ is mandatory and access must given to the DWP.
As a result of legal challenges and negative press attention, DWP have revised the guidance on UJ to make it clear that this cannot be done. The UJ Jobmatch toolkit chapter 3, paragraph 50, states: “You cannot issue a Jobseeker’s Direction to either require a claimant to create a profile and CV in Universal Jobmatch or to mandate a claimant to give us access to their account – this is their decision not ours.” Paragraph 52 also states that “We cannot specify to a JSA claimant how they provide us with records of their jobsearch activity and Universal Jobmatch will not change this.”
PCS is awaiting clarification from DWP management on the status of the many Jobseeker Directions that were incorrectly issued to claimants before the guidance was clarified. PCS members should contact their local representative to challenge any instruction to inform claimants that the use of UJ or access to it is mandatory.”
Everyone claimant need to know this, please spread the word, full info from the PCS at: http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/department_for_work_and_pensions_group/dwp-news.cfm/id/78E359C6-7B09-4FC6-98EBD4696432C199
The above pic is from a blog by an online recruitment specialist who points out what a huge waste of money the farce has been: http://ayeright.com/2013/01/universal-jobmatch-worst-job-board-launch-ever/
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