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JSA, UJM and proof of job search activities

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I've always kept a paper record of my job search activities, however, it seems that at my Jobcentre, claimants are being heavily pushed to record this on Universal Jobmatch. One of the issues with UJM is that the vast majority of the jobs listed there don't allow you to apply within the site itself and take you to an external site, such as CV Library, Adzuna etc. This then means that your application is not recorded in the 'Application history' section. So, does anyone know if it's acceptable to manually type this information into the 'Activity history' section instead?

 

I am also considering typing all of my job search activities - not just those sourced from UJM - into the 'Activity history', so that everything is one place, and so I can do away with writing it all out in hard copy.

 

I don't intend to give the Jobcentre access to my UJM account, and haven't ticked the box that would allow them to do so, but would there be any issues if, when signing on, I logged into my UJM account, so they could view my job search activities?

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I don't intend to give the Jobcentre access to my UJM account, and haven't ticked the box that would allow them to do so, but would there be any issues if, when signing on, I logged into my UJM account, so they could view my job search activities?

 

 

You might as well let JCP know your password then, as there is nothing stopping your adviser/work coach requesting all login's and password from machine A.

The rule should be do not use JCP wifi service or their computers if you do not want them to have access to your userids/ passwords

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Yes add it manually

Or if you apply for something just print out the email confirmation of application.

Im assuming you use a paper form to record your jobsearch

As long as it is recorded on there you should be covered anyway


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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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You would be better off keeping a separate written record of your job search activity. The simple reason being that no digital technology is 100% reliable and there may be times when you can not access your UJM account. A simple folder containing a diary and supporting printouts of emails & job applications is all that is needed.

 

If anyone at the JCP tells you that you have to do it their way under the threat of sanction, ask to see a copy of the enabling legislation. While they are scrabbling to find it, someone here will point you to official DWP documentation to support your actions.

 

The rule should be do not use JCP wifi service or their computers if you do not want them to have access to your userids/ passwords

 

Before jumping to baseless conclusions: The DWP would be in serious trouble if they were to use wifi sniffing and keylogging technologies to harvest user IDs and passwords. Even shoulder surfing to collect this information would see butts kicked and heads rolled.

 

That said, the basic tenant of data security is: Trust no one.


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Yeah I just print off the activity history that I manually fill in myself, they seem happy enough with that.

 

Note that it will automatically record when you look at the recommended jobs section of UJM on the activity history, you will see the text "recommended jobs (view)" appear there.

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You might as well let JCP know your password then, as there is nothing stopping your adviser/work coach requesting all login's and password from machine A.

The rule should be do not use JCP wifi service or their computers if you do not want them to have access to your userids/ passwords

 

Can anyone else confirm that passwords are stored on JCP computers?

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You would be better off keeping a separate written record of your job search activity. The simple reason being that no digital technology is 100% reliable and there may be times when you can not access your UJM account. A simple folder containing a diary and supporting printouts of emails & job applications is all that is needed.

If anyone at the JCP tells you that you have to do it their way under the threat of sanction, ask to see a copy of the enabling legislation. While they are scrabbling to find it, someone here will point you to official DWP documentation to support your actions.

 

Hmmm...trouble is, I don't have a printer at home and the nearest place I can get them printed out is £1 per sheet. Again, I could log into my email account and show them the emails but, obviously, I'm concerned if my email account won't be secure even after I've logged out. Also, what about jobs you apply for where you don't receive an acknowledgement, which happened to me today on Gumtree?

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Hmmm...trouble is, I don't have a printer at home and the nearest place I can get them printed out is £1 per sheet. Again, I could log into my email account and show them the emails but, obviously, I'm concerned if my email account won't be secure even after I've logged out. Also, what about jobs you apply for where you don't receive an acknowledgement, which happened to me today on Gumtree?

 

Print it out at the jobcenter. You have refused them access to your UJ account which is wise IMO, logging into UJ on their computers dosent allow them to just take your password and force access on their own.

 

Technically its possible for them to do that but its illegal as it breaks the data protection act so you'll be safe printing out your activity history on their computers.

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Can anyone else confirm that passwords are stored on JCP computers?

 

 

If a JCP Manager send a request to their IT dept that they want a group of computers or networks monitored , the IT dept will carry out that request, userid's and passwords don't need to be stored for them to obtain that information

Don't you find it strange that a Government that wants to cut costs where ever possible is then spending money on a Digital Jobcentres rollout unless they have an

secondary agenda that justify the costs

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If a JCP Manager send a request to their IT dept that they want a group of computers or networks monitored , the IT dept will carry out that request, userid's and passwords don't need to be stored for them to obtain that information

Don't you find it strange that a Government that wants to cut costs where ever possible is then spending money on a Digital Jobcentres rollout unless they have an

secondary agenda that justify the costs

 

 

If you haven't consented to their access, and they gain access anyway, would that not actually be illegal?

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I think it's important to urge a bit of perspective here, the JCP are groaning under the strain of so many claimants that no-one is likely to sit trawling thorugh key logs looking for login information when they can routinely request the information from you with no additional work from themselves.

 

I'd imagine that on the grand scale of people for the government to monitor their online activities that the already locked down JCP pc's are likely to be pretty low down the list.


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Hmmm...trouble is, I don't have a printer at home and the nearest place I can get them printed out is £1 per sheet. Again, I could log into my email account and show them the emails but, obviously, I'm concerned if my email account won't be secure even after I've logged out. Also, what about jobs you apply for where you don't receive an acknowledgement, which happened to me today on Gumtree?

 

 

A solution would be

1) Create a separate email account for your job search preferably one with audit account support ( such as gmail once you have log in you can see account access ip address location and time

2) Create 2 unique passwords for this email account could be something like eg jcpisgreat

always change password as soon as you can before you access jcp computers or wifi and change again once you leave

3) Monitor email account for last activity on this mail account

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The whole point of UJ is so JCP can check up on your job seeking activities and to automate their sanctioning regime. I hope you were not under the impression that it is there to help you.

 

 

If you do not wish to let them have access there is no point in using it to keep a record that nobody else is going to see. If you have to repeat everything in another form in order to provide the evidence that is required then it would be less of a bind to do it that way in the first place.

 

 

PS.

 

 

That's a cunning plan Vinty. Crafty!!

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The whole point of UJ is so JCP can check up on your job seeking activities and to automate their sanctioning regime. I hope you were not under the impression that it is there to help you.

 

 

If you do not wish to let them have access there is no point in using it to keep a record that nobody else is going to see. If you have to repeat everything in another form in order to provide the evidence that is required then it would be less of a bind to do it that way in the first place.

 

 

PS.

 

 

That's a cunning plan Vinty. Crafty!!

 

 

Of course I didn't think it was there to help jobseekers!

 

My sense is, though, that whilst it's not mandatory to give them remote access, I think it's going to become increasingly difficult to avoid showing them that you've actually used it. If a Doubt is raised about your jobseeking activities, then use of UJ is something a Decision Maker will look at in order to assess your case.

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I think it's important to urge a bit of perspective here, the JCP are groaning under the strain of so many claimants that no-one is likely to sit trawling thorugh key logs looking for login information when they can routinely request the information from you with no additional work from themselves.

 

I'd imagine that on the grand scale of people for the government to monitor their online activities that the already locked down JCP pc's are likely to be pretty low down the list.

 

 

Let me see 24hours logs of a batch of computers output automatically uploaded to a text editor to perform a search

search 1 find all time stamps that contain the word login

produce a report per machine or ip address for a time period of 5 mins either side of where the word login is found

not really a trawl

JCP can request for userid and password details but that is all they can do is request that information is provided

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I was recently on benefits and recorded all of my work search activity through the Jobmatch website and gave them access to the account as it was easiest. This is how they recommended that I do it so I didn't have to write anything down or print anything off. Never had any issues doing it.

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Of course I didn't think it was there to help jobseekers!

 

My sense is, though, that whilst it's not mandatory to give them remote access, I think it's going to become increasingly difficult to avoid showing them that you've actually used it. If a Doubt is raised about your jobseeking activities, then use of UJ is something a Decision Maker will look at in order to assess your case.

UJ has been discussed and better discussed on this forum and on many others almost to death.

You appear to be accepting now that it is not mandatory to give JCP access to your UJ account and you are right to do so. Please also accept that it is not mandatory to use UJ for job searching at all, there are plenty of other, better, sites that can be used. What an adviser or Decision Maker thinks of that is irrelevant.

In my own case I do trawl through the posted jobs on UJ but I do not log in. If I find any jobs that I feel like applying for I write down on a piece of paper the Job Title, the Job ID, the date it was posted, and any details of a contact. I then exit the site. If there is an address, an email address or a telephone number I make contact and apply using them.

My next step is to trawl through the various other sites, I have about 10 I use regularly and 2 or three specialist ones I use occasionally, they are run by monthly publications. I have not come across a job yet on UJ that wasn’t also listed on one or more of the other sites I use.

When find any of the jobs on the list that I prepared earlier I apply for them via the site I am then on, making a note of the site and any relevant or different identifying numbers on my list.

That’s about it and I haven’t told UJ anything, Pike. When I produce my list at my signing on appointment all the details I mentioned are there to see and it would not take them long to check its veracity from the details given if they chose not to accept it.

I agree it’s a long winded way of doing things but I have the satisfaction of knowing that they can’t say that the evidence is not there and that I am not being unwittingly automatically vetted and possibly targeted for a sanction. I also have the satisfaction of knowing that if they wish to check my evidence it will involve them in a bit of effort, not just read highlights off a screen.

I back all that up along with further evidence, such as emails, letters, sent or received, on a USB stick. Of course they can’t check them because there is some silly rules about not accepting them. That’s their tough doo-doo.

I have a printer but the ink costs £18 for black and £24 for colour the last time I checked. If either of the cartridges run out then the thing doesn’t work at all. There’s no way I can afford that, nor can I afford the costs the library charges if I were to take printouts or screen shots on a weekly basis.

Not sure what more you want to hear to persuade or convince you, other than a written statement from IDS himself, although I wouldn’t take much comfort from that.

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To be clear, I've always known that allowing JCP access to my UJ account was not mandatory, as I researched the issue before I created an account.

 

As we all know, the Jobcentre specialise in obfuscation with various staff saying different things, which has led to some claimants being caught out. I think UJ is appalling and that such a woeful site is being used as evidence to sanction people is nothing short of scandalous. But in light of this - along with my recent brushes with JCP staff who keep bringing up UJ - I'm just trying to work out what's the easiest way of presenting information that they will deem acceptable.

 

I think I'll continue with my paper diary, but also record all my searches on the activity log too, 'just in case'.

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If you haven't consented to their access, and they gain access anyway, would that not actually be illegal?

 

Heck yes it would be illegal. DWP staff could go to jail for things like that.


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I think it's important to urge a bit of perspective here, the JCP are groaning under the strain of so many claimants that no-one is likely to sit trawling thorugh key logs looking for login information when they can routinely request the information from you with no additional work from themselves.

 

I'd imagine that on the grand scale of people for the government to monitor their online activities that the already locked down JCP pc's are likely to be pretty low down the list.

 

Yes, precisely. Let's put a lid on the DWParanoia here - of course there are ways they could, technically trawl their machines for peoples' private email and website login details, but why would the staff involved risk prosecutions for something like that?


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

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There you go Zohar. I think we are in full agreement about the shortcomings of UJ. It only remains for you to build up to insisting that you are not going to use it citing your legitimate concerns as your reasons. I went through this particular battle with them and despite receiving 2 Directions I succeeded in extricating myself from having anything to do with it.

There is nothing that UJ can record or show from your input that can’t be recorded and shown by other means. If I do a half hour jobsearch on Major Recruitment, for example, and write down the date and time I did it, why should that not be believed but writing the same things down on an activity log on UJ or in the worker’s playbook is accepted without question?

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Probably because they see the play-book (my work plan ) assuming that is what you referred to, is no more than a hoop which they have been trained to expect you to jump through or they will want to break out the sanctions because you failed to comply like a good sheep, common-sense like in top level politics I'm afraid appears to be absent

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Best way with UJ is;

 

1. Never give the JC access - and report any adviser who tries to pressure you into doing so. Access is not ever up for discussion; they know full well they mustn't do this and were even specifically told so by their PCS Union in a memo of March last year.

 

2. Never apply for any job which requires you to hit that 'Click to apply' button. God knows where your personal info will end up. Always assume it's a fake job; saves a lot of trouble.

 

3. If you must find a few UJ jobs to appease the JC, only apply for jobs via an external agency that you've heard of; for example there's a lot of admin jobs on UJ where you can go onto the Reed or CV-Library sites and apply directly. Do this and use the screenprint from their sites as proof. This way, you've used UJ to find vacancies - and satisfied any JC requirements - without actually applying via UJ.

 

4. Don't keep all your other jobsearch on UJ. I've read of at least one case where someone kept all their fortnight's evidence on the site and when they went to sign on and the adviser opened their account to check.. it had all vanished due to a glitch. Result? No evidence and a totally unsympathetic adviser. You can guess what happened next.

 

Use UJ as little as possible. I'm only mandated to 'look' on UJ so I just log in, create a search - which gets put into my 'Activities' list and is dated as proof. Do this every day, print it out after a fortnight and I've complied totally with the requirements.

 

Most of the advisers at my JC think UJ is a total waste of time.

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Use UJ as little as possible. I'm only mandated to 'look' on UJ so I just log in, create a search - which gets put into my 'Activities' list and is dated as proof. Do this every day, print it out after a fortnight and I've complied totally with the requirements.

 

Noooooo...... Automate the process and the only time you need to look at it is to print out the log. Take a look at:http://automation.strikenow.org.uk/


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I'm far too cynical and distrusting! Having taught a bit of IT in my colourful past, I trust no computer, anytime, ever. Nor any program either :)

 

'Place not thy trust in infernal machines for they are the instrument of Satan'. I say this a lot to the salesmen in my local shopping precinct who are always trying to get people to change broadband suppliers.

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