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Job Centre adviser demanding handing over my mobile phone for e-mail proof

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What is the procedure for job centre advisers to check your private email account on your phone to see if you've actually applied for jobs and have proof of it?


I currently have proof on my email account of jobs which i've applied for which I can retrieve on my phone but what is the actual procedure for job centre advisers to physically see these emails which counts as my proof in looking for work?


Can the adviser demand I hand over my phone then open each email to read them or do I just need to turn the phone screen to the adviser and show them the emails listed without actually going into them and showing them every single email.


The reason I ask is because I was informed by an adviser this week while signing for my JSA that they have the authority to ask me to hand over my phone so they can check through my emails themselves otherwise I may well be sanctioned.


I know there will be a data protection breach in that somewhere and know they can't force you to hand over your phone so they can rake through the emails but I'm just asking around for a little clarification before next signing day.

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I think the adviser has phrased it badly. They don't have the "authority" to check your emails - at least, not in the sense that word is normally understood. A police officer with a warrant might have that "authority", a JCP adviser does not.


However, they are entitled to verify that you've been meeting the job search requirements for JSA, and one way in which many claimants like to demonstrate this is to show copies of emails sent to and received from potential employers. You could, of course, print out the relevant emails but this can get expensive and anyhow, not everyone has a suitable printer or the spare cash to pay 10p per sheet at the local library.


So, what can advisers request? Well, the rules say that they must, as I said, verify that you are "actively seeking employment" and that you must demonstrate that when you go to sign on. But the adviser can't insist that you do so in a specific way - that is, they can't say "show me your email account - no ifs, no buts, and I'll sanction you if you don't." They're supposed to show flexibility in how they obtain the evidence they need to issue your payment. Still, if most of your evidence is in the form of emails then you'll probably need to work something out. But the basic answer to your question is that no, they can't demand the right to snoop through your email at their leisure, and the way you demonstrate your jobsearch should be mutually agreed between you and the adviser.


You have to provide evidence one way or another, though. I'd probably set up a free email account for jobsearching only, and keep all my personal correspondence in another account. That way if they do look through your mail, all they'll see is job applications, replies to those applications and, of course, spam.




The idea that all politicians lie is music to the ears of the most egregious liars.

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The reason I ask is because I was informed by an adviser this week while signing for my JSA that they have the authority to ask me to hand over my phone so they can check through my emails themselves otherwise I may well be sanctioned.


If you get told this again, ask for the adviser to produce the legislation (quoting the chapter & paragraph) that gives them this authority. As antone has already pointed out, the adviser can ask, but it entirely your choice as to how you present job search information - If this adviser continues to press the issue, instruct him/her to contact a Decision Maker for their opinion.





No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.
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Cheers for the information.


The reason I asked is at my last meeting with my adviser I had shown him the emails on my phone by simply turning the screen towards him and shown him the list of emails of the job applications showing the employers email address or the jobsite in which i'd completed the application on but he insisted that i must open all emails and he must read them not just look at the the headers.


When I refused this the advisers words were along the lines of "I have the authority to look through your emails on your phone and you do realise you could be sanctioned for not co-operating fully." but never went any further with his apparent threat when i told him "no you can't" before he put the pen on the desk to sign for my JSA. I've already stated on a previous visit I do not have a printer to print these emails off and bring along.


These emails are just part of the proof I produce at each signing day. The proof I take along is stated as being widely taken as conclusive proof on the "Claimant Commitment for Work Programme customers" letter to which I was made sign for a few weeks back when they gave me it on previous signing day.


I never had any trouble whatsoever with various other advisers when signing normally and they were all happy at the evidence I produced but ever since I've been on the Ingeus Work Programme the adviser I have now seems to be determined to sanction A, B and C.

Edited by TG70
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I used to just print out a small selection of the places Id mailed or as I normally used the same IT website I just printed out a page or 2 of all the jobs Id applied for on that site, it was normally quite a large number of 20-30, but all this was before this despicable government was in power.


Some advisors are happy and helpful people, others are the most horrible people you would ever wish to meet !

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Start audio recording this adviser.. if he goes on making wild statements like that he'll dig his own grave. Actually, you should be recording all of them - both Ingeus and JC - anyway, just in case.

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mobiles are supposed to be switched off in jobcentres at least they are in the one i go to,the security pounce if you get one out,


Under data protection you are permitted t9 record for your own benefit.

That is your right.








The SabreSheep, All information is offered on good faith and based on mine and others experiences. I am not a qualified legal professional and you should always seek legal advice if you are unsure of your position.

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front of house staff just misunderstanding their instructions form above, I expect. They sometimes like to think that they have some sort of superior rights to the rest of the country because they work for a government organisation but the DPA applies to them as much as any other individual or business.

When I had an interview witht hem a while back I told the person who spoke to me on first occasion we met by my first name that they were to address me as Mr xxxxx and not by my first name as this was a formal interview. It didnt help them much when they were shown to be wrong in their application of the law as they saw it either so go forearmed with info on the relevant section of the law that allows them to demand proof of trying to get applications in to show that an email header fits this part of the legislation and then you can ask them why they think they dont need to adhere to the law.

Often though, the wording rwefers to minimum standards and it can be interpreted faily loosely by the office concerned almost how they feel. Problem then is that they try and sanction you and force an appeal that is months away as they think that the unemployed are financially precarious so will do as they are bullied into.

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