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    • Guys just to let you know. Chasing these claims is more out of the principle for me. Truly value the help CAG give and provide. Admire the reassurance and advice you give, especially to those in desperate need. Will be looking to donate a significant portion of the final claim. 
    • well I'm afraid that you have missed the main principle which is why should you pay more in order to insure them against their own breach of contract?    This is the confidence trick which all courier companies seem to be practicing against their innocent customers and it's been going on for years.   Follow the link to the piece on extended warranties and you will understand more about how you've been conned into giving up some of the value of your own property because they have breached their contract towards you and lost the item. It is Hermes who should be insuring against their own negligence and their own contractual breaches.   Hermes should not be relying on their customers to protect them against their own contractual breaches. That is the principle that you should be be attempting to defend and unfortunately you appear to have surrendered it.  
    • great stuff. i will continue to lurk and help with any currys pcw related items i can. bare in mind i no longer work for the company any things may change in the future as far as processes.   id personally never buy anything samsung after having had to call their useless customer service for the past few years. they dont deserve your money
    • Hi,    Not sure if I have the right place but a lot of questions seemed to be answered really well so I will try and tap the available knowledge.   I am a student mental health nurse in my second year and have run into a problem regarding my licence.   At the start of June I had a bipolar episode that finished, declared by my psychiatrist on Oct 6th.   I am fine with this (as you can be) as it has happened every 5 years for the past 20 years.   The time previous to this I took my car off the road and did not inform the DVLA and then when my psychiatrist "indicated" it was ok I drove.   This time because I wanted to do it right because I am trying to "do it right" I contacted the DVLA and just wow.   They told me the date was to be the 29th November to start my 3-month ban and that I was to send back my licence and re-apply after those 3 months.   Can I ask a question or two about this information???   Why did they start my 3-months on the 29th Nov when my doctor told me I was completely fine on the 6th Oct - It has added a huge amount of time onto my ban (7 weeks approx).   Is there anything I can do about this? It's like they picked a future random date out of the air(29th Nov).    Can I get them to go with my doctor's 6th Oct if I ring up and tell them this is the date she chose (she chose to declare me ill on one day, why do they ignore the date I was well?)   Should I ring them up and if so, what should I say?   Also on the re-application papers sent out there is a section that says:                                                    "where there has been a history of frequent relapses a longer period of stability will be required..."   Honestly, this terrifies me. What is the time they count as "frequent relapses?"   Is it every 2 or 3 years, or 5?    If it is 5 years and  I fall under that banner say, what are they going to say to me? A 6 month absence?  A year?   It's pretty scary stuff to be honest.   If you can reply, can you be sure to give me the correct info if you can.   I thank you for your time in advance,   All the best, ste.
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I am mightily confused.

 

I have been signing on for 12 months, at the start of my claim I signed a claimant commitment stating I will do X number of steps each week to find work, IE look in papers, ask family and friends, use UJM etc.

 

I completed my job search online and always filled in my activity history on UJM, ensuring I recorded X number of steps as required in my claimant commitment.

 

Part way through the year I was told not to use UJM instead I was given a paper template to fill that stated I must do 35 hours job search per week, this had a section to fill stating the time each task took.

 

Some time later I was issued with a pie chart diagram which showed different activities I could include in my 35 hour job search.

 

Now I have been given another paper template form which states I have to apply for and record 10 vacancies jobs per week.

 

What the heck as happened to my claimant commitment, no where in that did I agree to a 35 hour week job search nor did it state when I signed it that it was a requirement.

 

Secondly, I would never agree to applying for X amount of vacancies per week , what if the only suitable vacancies are ones I have already applied for.

 

And now they have just reissued me a new claimant commitment to sign which is basically same as my old one except they have added “ engage with the work program”

 

Can they enforce this 10 job application rule and what is in place to prevent me from just jotting down bogus applications.

 

Obviously I am fulfilling my claimant commitment still but as there is no actual way to record that activity any more am I even obligated to carry it out.

 

From what I can gather the 35 hour per week is only a suggestion and not enforceable as long as client shows they have took reasonable steps they cannot be sanctioned but I cannot find any info at all regarding the 10 vacancies per week.

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For your job searches it may help you to start a word document for your searches and record the web addresses you visit and record them to your word document like this and this way you can quickly print off a copy for JCP should they want to see what you have done to look for work.

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?444261-Claimant-commitment-confusion accessed 13/04/2015

If you copy the address bar then paste to word highlight it all right click hyperlink it then hyperlink it and hit the space bar, then add accessed 13/04/2015 (or the date you accessed it) see above example if you do this then you can always refer back to it and then if need be you can go back to the page in the link to see if the work vacancies have changed. so it would look like the example above.

 

You can always use a link more than once in a week because you would be checking each site daily/weekly so therefore completing your required searches.

 

The 10 jobs are maybe a guideline for you or what they would expect you to complete in your case, as each case is different.

 

As far as your commitment agreement ask for a copy and ask them to explain it in detail to you. If need be ask them to confirm you are required to do xx hours of searching. The 10 searches really are just two per day not a lot of time to spend looking. They may want you to cold call employers as well, it all varies.

 

 

Finally providing false information to the JCP (DWP) could see you in trouble and sanctioned anyway.


If I have been of any help, please click on my star and leave a note to let me know, thank you.

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I have a Claimant Commitment thread elsewhere in this forum which gives links to all the JC adviser's classroom training material for Claimant Commitment - in other words, the entire course they had to go through to be taught about it. Interesting reading! I took it all along to my first CC meeting and was able to shoot the adviser down on most things she 'suggested' - she was rather taken aback that a customer had a copy of her training material and so couldn't be conned into anything :) I basically ended up with the same few things I already had on my JS Agreement, so it worked out well. Link to all the guidance is here;

 

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/claimant_commitment_4

 

In their training guides, it states quite clearly that the number of hours spent jobsearching is irrelevant, as long as everything that's required has been completed. If it's on your CC then make sure you do it - all of it - and you will have then satisfied the requirements, no matter how long or short a time you've spent on it. The '35 hour seach' is just to make us believe we really have to look for work every second of the day. It's jobsearch quality that counts, not the time spent on it (this is almost word-for-word what's written in their guidance).

 

Also, you're under no obligation to use the CC Booklet to record your jobsearch - that too is clearly stated though the advisers will obviously be trying to claim it's compulsory. I refused to use it, quoted the guidelines and she said no more about it. It's a sanction trap basically, as it asks you to write down not only what you've done but what you will do..and if you fail to follow through on that then it opens you up to a 'not actively seeking work' doubt.

 

If you have 'find 10 jobs' listed on your CC then make sure you do 10, don't give them a chance to find fault - you can always renegotiate your CC as it's supposed to be a joint agreement..which they also don't tell you about.

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If you have 'find 10 jobs' listed on your CC then make sure you do 10, don't give them a chance to find fault - you can always renegotiate your CC as it's supposed to be a joint agreement..which they also don't tell you about.

 

That is the problem, there is no mention of applying for 10 vacancies per week in my claimant commitment, I would never agree to that.

 

2 types of forms are being issued at my local office.

 

1 form is for weekly signers which requires us to record 35 hours Job search activity and can include entries such as nothing suitable found, speculative email etc.

 

The second form is for people who are on the work program OR using the drop and go system in which case we sign on fortnightly and just drop off the form, this form states we must record 10 vacancies per week and nothing else is accepted such as speculative visit, or nothing suitable found.

 

So I really do not know where I stand on this as I have just been moved to fortnightly signing.

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Finally providing false information to the JCP (DWP) could see you in trouble and sanctioned anyway.

 

I understand that but if I cannot find enough suitable vacancies in a given week, and at times this is the case, then what would a reasonable person do in my situation considering the consequences.

 

Am I correct in saying if the DWP rang any employee regarding an application they are not at liberty to divulge that information because it would be in breach of the data protection ?

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The DWP are only able to contact an employer if the vacancy is a 'matched' one ie they found the job and instructed you to apply for it. They don't need your permission in this case. If it's a vacancy you found yourself they are not allowed to contact the employer without your express permission - which you never give, naturally as it could jeopardise your chance of getting the job. For example, if your application is for a job in Local Government they don't like anyone trying to contact them - 'canvassing', they call it - and can disqualify your application.

 

The DWP document 'Decision Making & Appeals (DMA): Gaining Customer Feedback from Employers' clearly states;

 

'Must Does: Meeting Data Protection Legislation

Solicitors Branch has previously advised that we have to inform employers why we are asking for the information and what the information will be used for. To continue to meet DPA legislation you must clearly explain to the employer why you are asking for the information and what it will be used for. You must also make the employer aware that they are not obliged to provide feedback.

Note: You can no longer send employers a list of customers submitted to their vacancies. Feedback from an employer can only be requested where an advisor has matched a Jobseekers Allowance customer to a vacancy. There is no need to obtain the customers permission as this is covered by Section 3 of the Social Security Act 1998.

 

There you have it: if the JC found the vacancy for you they can ask for feedback. If you found the vacancy yourself they can't. I've had to put a few advisers wise to this myself.

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The DWP are only able to contact an employer if the vacancy is a 'matched' one ie they found the job and instructed you to apply for it.

 

Thank you for providing me with a definitive answer, much appreciated, I think I can rest a little easier now when it is time to complete my form.

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Bear in mind that, while the JC aren't allowed to contact employers of vacancies you found yourself, they can still ask you to provide proof that you've actually applied - for any vacancy. I only ever apply through sites like Reed, CV-Library, etc as they record your applications in a nice 'My Applications' list, complete with job details, dates and times which you can then print out to show you did indeed apply. It's a very fast and efficient way of providing jobsearch evidence. No way can the JC argue it as, if you hadn't applied for the jobs then there would be nothing on the print outs :)

 

These sites also automatically send an acknowledgement email to your private email account too, for every job you apply for, which is more proof that you did apply. Cover yourself at all times!

 

When I sign on I still see people handing over tatty scraps of paper with 'I applied for 5 jobs this week' scrawled in pencil...then they wonder why the JC don't believe them. Always show concrete proof.

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they can still ask you to provide proof that you've actually applied - for any vacancy.

 

To be honest I have never been asked to provide proof of my job applications, I only record jobs that require a phone call and snail mail applications so they going to have a struggle finding a way I can evidence that.

 

Come to think of it where would I stand on that ?

 

Unless of course they give me a mandate to apply for an application that involves Email, then of course they will have evidence when I comply.

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To be honest I have never been asked to provide proof of my job applications, I only record jobs that require a phone call and snail mail applications so they going to have a struggle finding a way I can evidence that.

 

Come to think of it where would I stand on that ?

 

Unless of course they give me a mandate to apply for an application that involves Email, then of course they will have evidence when I comply.

 

In an ideal world it should be up to the JC to prove we didn't apply for a vacancy, but these days the JC puts the onus on the client to prove they did apply. In all things we're now presumed to be guilty unless we can show otherwise - this is why people's payments are stopped immediately a doubt is raised, before they've even had the chance to respond and defend themselves. Automatically presumed guilty.

 

I'd still send a few application via agencies, just to get some hard printed proof. If a company has a lot of applicants phoning for a vacancy they may not log or even remember your particular call, and I imagine any unsuccessful written applications would simply be binned, so they may have no record of you ever applying. Sod's Law decrees that the one time the JC does ask for proof will be the one time you haven't got any :)

 

Advisers vary considerable; some are fair and easy-going and rarely ask for proof while others will insist on proof of everything and try to trip you at every opportunity to get a sanction result. You may be seeing a decent adviser now but the next time you go in it could be a different - and worse - one.

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We have recently worked through several informative posts on Claimant Commitment (CC), 35 hour jobsearch activity, and the number of jobs that have to be applied for per week. A perusal of the following links may help to reduce your confusion on those topics:

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?431218-Claimant-Commitment

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?439500-35-Hours-of-Work-Search-Activity-Each-Week

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?425562-Number-of-jobs-I-must-apply-for-in-a-week

 

The link that Jasta has provided will give you a more comprehensive explanation of the ins and out of CC

 

After a perusal, it would be informative if you could let us know whether or not the way in which the topics were discussed helped at all.

 

It would be impossible to discuss the contents of your CC without knowing exactly what it was you signed up to. You say that you agreed to use UJM and then agreed to have that altered to excuse its use for presenting evidence of job seeking activity which, it was claimed, was its whole purpose. It is illegal for the DWP/JC to insist on the use of UJM, or any other format, for providing evidence of job seeking activity where the claimant already has a creditable way of doing so. They can only 'suggest' options.

 

I was sanctioned last year for not actually applying for any jobs at all over a two week period because I found none suitable to apply for. The Tribunal Hearing, which was held this last January, found that the Jobcentre had erred in sanctioning me because there is no requirement in law that suggests a specific number of jobs to apply for each week or fortnight.

 

In its conclusions, the Tribunal was also critical of DWP/JC for attempting to impose a specific means of presenting evidence of job seeking activity and also of attempting to obtain, by the use of coercion, the disclosure of any form of correspondence between myself and potential employers, contrary to personal privacy laws.

 

On the question of proving that a job has, or has not, been applied for: At a Tribunal Hearing, this would be irrelevant. The question to be answered is whether or not the claimant did what was required to satisfy the 'actively seeking employment' clause as set out in law.

 

Should a doubt be raised and passed on to a Decision Maker concerning the steps required to be taken to find work as stipulated in a Jobseeker's Agreement or CC it is important to be aware of the decision in case law by the decision of Social security Commissioner Wilson in CJSA 1814 2007.

 

Quoting from this decision –

 

11 More detail is set out in regulation 18 of the Regulations. Regulation 18(1) provides:

 

“… a person shall be expected to have to take more than two steps in any week

unless taking one or two steps is all that is reasonable for that person to do in that week.”

 

This is the benchmark for judging the reasonableness of the claimant’s actions.

Regulation 18(2) illustrates (but does not define) this by listing steps that are reasonable for a person to be expected to take.

 

And…

 

13 Further, there is nothing in the Act or the Regulations requiring that a claimant must comply with everything in the Agreement. The reverse is the case. The agreement must comply with the law. To be valid, a jobseeker’s agreement must comply “with the prescribed regulations in force”: section 9(1) of the Act. The pattern of the legislation is that a jobseeker’s agreement must comply with the test of actively seeking work in sections 1(2)© and 7 of the Act and regulation 18 of the Regulations and not the other way round.

 

And…

 

15 The questions to be asked where it is alleged that someone is not actively seeking work are those following from section 7(1) and regulation 18(1), not from the agreement. They pose three questions, to be answered by the claimant’s actions that week:

 

(a) Should the claimant be expected to take at least three jobsearch steps that week, or is it reasonable that only one or two be taken?

 

(b) What steps were taken?

 

c) In the light of that reasonable expectation and those findings, were the steps taken by the claimant “such steps as he can reasonably be expected to have to take in order to have the best prospects of securing employment” (section 7(1))?

 

If the steps by the claimant taken meet that test, it is irrelevant that the claimant did not also take some other step, whether or not it is in the jobseeker’s agreement.

 

So, a Decision Maker must take into account and apply the law when making his decision. If you read this judgement and any of it applies to your case (and it is going to be relevant to many because it establishes that the Jsag has almost no authority) then quote the relevant part in your submission to the DM and refer to the “Decision of Social Security Commissioner in CJSA 1814 2007”. If you don’t use it, or signify that you are using it, and directly referring to it, then the DM might ignore it.

 

As far as I know nothing has changed the validity of this decision. The satisfactory conclusion to my own case last January confirms this.

 

Just remember this – this doesn’t invalidate the Jsag but it means your “actively-seeking” test is in the law, not in the Jsag. The DM must look at your job-search evidence and test it against the legal requirement, not the Jsag. So if you have good evidence of your job-search where you took more than two-steps (examples of steps are in JS Regs 1996 18(2)) then you have fulfilled the “actively-seeking” rules. I recommend having more evidence than the minimum and of good quality for obvious reasons.

 

There is no such thing as a sanction for “breaking” the terms of your Jsag. The only conditions of entitlement are 1.Availabilty for employment, 2. Actively seeking, and 3. Having a signed Jsag in force (or having accepted a Claimant Commitment now).

 

The full document CJSA 1814 2007 is at-

 

www.administrativeappeals.tribunals.gov....201814%202007-00.doc

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we're now presumed to be guilty unless we can show otherwise - this is why people's payments are stopped immediately a doubt is raised, before they've even had the chance to respond and defend themselves. Automatically presumed guilty.

 

Yes it seems being unemployed is looked upon as a lower class of criminal, I could go out and beat someone up smash some windows and be a general t**t 100 pound fine 60 hours community service.

 

Make a minor error on job search receive any where between £160 to a whopping £2160 fine for re-offenders and as a bonus be sentenced to 700 + hours community service for the crime of being unemployed for 2 years or more.

 

I guess the logic behind this is that real criminals at least go out to to earn a crust where as the unemployed just laze about all day.

Edited by honeybee13
Language.

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It would be impossible to discuss the contents of your CC without knowing exactly what it was you signed up to. You say that you agreed to use UJM and then agreed to have that altered to excuse its use for presenting evidence of job seeking activity which, it was claimed, was its whole purpose. It is illegal for the DWP/JC to insist on the use of UJM, or any other format, for providing evidence of job seeking activity where the claimant already has a creditable way of doing so. They can only 'suggest' options.

 

I understood at the time that I could refuse to use UJM when I signed up to my CC last year, but to be honest I preferred to use UJM to record my activities it was easier for me than filling in the paper templates.

 

Each time I signed on I was asked for my paper template but when I told them I record my activity on UJM and have given them full access, they always came up with some sort of excuse, network down, they have forgotten their password, or do not know how to use the system yet left it at that then allowed me to sign on.

 

On occasion I was told to use the paper template rather than UJM because of the problems they were having, but when I asked would I receive a sanction due to their ineptitude they said no, so I carried on with recording my activities on UJM.

 

As for my CC my steps are as follows:

 

DAILY:

I will use jobs sites and employer websites to find and apply for jobs

I will log into my universal jobmatch account to find and apply for jobs I can do.

I will respond to contacts and notification from employers and job sites

 

WEEKLY:

I will contact employers direct to ask for and apply for jobs

ask family and friends

 

ONGOING:

will consider what need to do to make effective job application

ensure I have up to date CV

Register and maintain contact with recruitment agencies

Fully participate with my provider.

 

Now some months ago they issued a new paper template which required I record 35 hours per week job search and told me that I could be sanctioned if I continued with recording my activities on UJM, the reason they stated was that UJM website does not have a section to record number of hours spent, whereas the paper template did.

 

 

Thank you for providing a link to those threads and yes they were informative although there is a lot of material to wade through I hope I have better grasp of the situation so I shall just recap with what I understand so far to be the case and hopefully someone can put me right if I have misunderstood.

 

Basically these paper templates they are distributing are a worthless exercise as far as the client is concerned, are not legal or at the least misleading.

 

As far as the DWP are concerned they are using them too apply unnecessary pressure and confusion in order to destroy peoples resolve to claim benefits and or gain a sanction.

 

In my case , due to confusion I have not followed all the steps outlined in my CC because I have not bothered to use UJM once I started to to record my activity on the paper template, it is as though my CC is just an after thought and never brought up,never imposed but if it ever was then I would be in sanction street for failing to login to UJM everyday so I guess renegotiation is in order on my next visit.

 

But still when it comes to filling in these templates everything suggests that I do not have to comply as long as I provide at least 3-4 quality steps towards gaining employment if requested to evidence as in the legislation, BUT I will receive a sanction anway, although the likely outcome will be that it is overturned on appeal.

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You appear to have taken a particular dislike to the 'paper templates' that you are now obliged to use instead of UJM for recording your work search activity claiming that they are perhaps illegal or at least misleading. Having agreed to use them they are no more illegal or misleading than the use of UJM which you appear to have readily agreed to and accepted.

 

Since it is necessary that you must use some method to present your job seeking activity surely it is preferable to use a method that you have some control over. UJM gives total control to DWP/JCP. It can monitor automatically every move you make while logged on to it. It can process automatically the information it gathers about you to in order to use it against you. It can process lists of jobs that you will be required to apply for or face sanctions.

 

Alternatively you can devise a method for presenting the activities you undertake to actively seek work in such a way as to give your adviser no legitimate cause to doubt or reject it. This is best done by retaining control of what you provide and this can be best done by not having a computer record of it that may be used against you. Bear in mind that you are under no legal obligation to adapt a method for presenting your job seeking activities that an adviser at a Jobcentre tries to impose on you against your will.

 

This paper template that you have been instructed to use states that you must do 35 hours job search each week and that you must apply for 10 job vacancies each week. Do those conditions appear on your written CC ? Did you sign anything else to say that you accepted those conditions ? Either way, there is no law presently in place that would compel you to accept those conditions unquestioningly.

 

Your CC: Is it a Universal Credit CC or a JSA/CC ?

 

On my CC there are no headings or sub-headings that stipulate what is a daily, weekly or ongoing job seeking activity. There is no law that makes such a stipulation.

 

If your adviser has filled in the time scales you mention under the heading 'How often/by when' on the CC form then s/he could only have done that with your consent, or at least without your objection. Whether that consent was freely or reluctantly given is irrelevant if you gave it without asking for it to be reconsidered by a Decision Maker.

 

It would appear that since you agreed that CC you have been overtaken by events that have changed it in such a way as to now make it inappropriate and irrelevant:

 

1. The emphasis would appear to have been taken off the use of UJM.

2. You have been issued with and compelled to use a 'template' that sets down conditions that do not seem to be recorded on your CC

3. You appear to have been assigned to the Work Programme. Is this the 2 year WP with Ingeus as the Provider ?

 

In addition to all that, in the steps that you have listed under 'DAILY' the first step contradicts the second step. You can't comply with one without being in breach of the other.

 

A similar contradiction is created by the third step under 'DAILY' and the first step under 'WEEKLY' Not sure how you can agree to respond to contacts and notifications from employers daily unless you can guarantee that they will contact you daily, and considering that you are only required to contact them weekly you appear to have agreed to do the impossible.

 

I would suggest that you give serious consideration to the steps that you would be happy to have included on your CC and then insist on having the whole thing re-negotiated. Bear in mind here that the wording is all-important. The wording implies and conveys the meaning and understanding not only of the purpose but of the intention of the activity.

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You appear to have taken a particular dislike to the 'paper templateslink3.gif' that you are now obliged to use instead of UJM for recording your work search activity claiming that they are perhaps illegal or at least misleading. Having agreed to use them they are no more illegal or misleading than the use of UJM which you appear to have readily agreed to and accepted.
Yes agreed, after reading through the threads and other sources both methods are equally questionable, however I have never agreed to use the paper templates, they have been thrust upon me, I have not signed anything to say I agree to fill them in.

 

Since it is necessary that you must use some method to present your job seeking activity surely it is preferable to use a method that you have some control over. UJM gives total control to DWP/JCP. It can monitor automatically every move you make while logged on to it. It can process automatically the information it gathers about you to in order to use it against you. It can process lists of jobs that you will be required to apply for or face sanctions.
I accept that UJM has flaws and raises some concerns but I prefer that method of recording my activities, it also provided me with assurances that any evidence they required that I was actively seeking employment was automatically recorded should it ever be required, in way I made it work for me rather than against me, I saw people having troubles each time I signed on presenting paper evidence, being picked up on the slightest mistake, advisers running rings around them, saying you need to do more or this or that is filled in wrong, we require more information etc.

 

That is why I stuck to my guns and had a easy ride when I signed on hence my dislike of the paper template.

 

 

This paper templatelink3.gif that you have been instructed to use states that you must do 35 hours job search each week and that you must apply for 10 job vacancies each week. Do those conditions appear on your written CC ? Did you sign anything else to say that you accepted those conditions ? Either way, there is no law presently in place that would compel you to accept those conditions unquestioningly.
Just to clarify there are 2 paper templates I have been asked to use over the course of a year, 1 is for weekly signers which has the 35 hour job search sections, where we can include the phrase " nothing suitable found"

 

The other template is given to people who sign on fortnightly who are either on the drop and go system or the work program, which I have now moved over to, this template only requires we record 10 actual applications per week and no mention of 35 hours in this template also we are not allowed to use the phrase " nothing suitable found" they have to be real jobs we have applied for.

 

Your CC: Is it a Universal Credit CC or a JSA/CC ?

It is a JSA / CC

 

On my CC there are no headings or sub-headings that stipulate what is a daily, weekly or ongoing job seeking activity. There is no law that makes such a stipulation.

If your adviser has filled in the time scales you mention under the heading 'How often/by when' on the CC form then s/he could only have done that with your consent, or at least without your objection. Whether that consent was freely or reluctantly given is irrelevant if you gave it without asking for it to be reconsidered by a Decision Maker.

There is a heading on my CC that states "how often", what is annoying is that in the old days any documents use to contain a reference number from HMSO I think it was and made it easy to pull up identical documents people are referring to, now it seems there is no refrence number on the majority of forms I get issued with IE these damn templates, my CC and so on.

 

It would appear that since you agreed that CC you have been overtaken by events that have changed it in such a way as to now make it inappropriate and irrelevant:

 

1. The emphasis would appear to have been taken off the use of UJM.

2. You have been issued with and compelled to use a 'template' that sets down conditions that do not seem to be recorded on your CC

3. You appear to have been assigned to the Work Programme. Is this the 2 year WP with Ingeus as the Provider ?

Yes I have been assigned to Ingeus.

 

In addition to all that, in the steps that you have listed under 'DAILY' the first step contradicts the second step. You can't comply with one without being in breach of the other.

A similar contradiction is created by the third step under 'DAILY' and the first step under 'WEEKLY' Not sure how you can agree to respond to contacts and notifications from employers daily unless you can guarantee that they will contact you daily, and considering that you are only required to contact them weekly you appear to have agreed to do the impossible.

 

I would suggest that you give serious consideration to the steps that you would be happy to have included on your CC and then insist on having the whole thing re-negotiated. Bear in mind here that the wording is all-important. The wording implies and conveys the meaning and understanding not only of the purpose but of the intention of the activity

.

 

Good advice, yes I have been reflecting on the issue of changing my CC on my next signing on day just so I am covered should ever the CC be brought up at some point in the future, however I feel my issue with the paper template and reluctance to use I believe will only get me a benefit doubt raised on my claim if I begin to provide an alternative method due to the fact it is the way they run things at my local office, we just drop of the form and go, so some untrained staff will see it and immediately flag it.

 

In order to challenge them I guess I will be challenging them for everyone, I do not see them making me an exception.

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The biggest problem is that no two Jobcentres seem to work in the same way - despite all of them being subject to the same official rules and requirements. The way jobsearch evidence is presented and accepted varies wildly from office to office and it shouldn't be this way.

 

Most of the advisers in my JC say they don't like UJ at all and much prefer customers to show printouts from agencies as it's faster than having to check through someone's UJ account - assuming they even had permission to do it.

 

Jobcentres excel at giving customers vague instructions about anything, then getting uppity when people don't fill in forms correctly or miss something out. A lot of JC staff haven't had the training themselves so it's no wonder they can't give accurate info to their clients - doesn't bother them of course as we're the ones who suffer and end up with a possible sanction.

 

They can't specify how you show your jobsearch - that's clearly stated in their UJ Toolkit documents. Use their forms (I wouldn't) or create your own and use them along with some agency screenprints, or just list all the steps you've taken, with details and dates. There's no specific quantities on your CC so just apply for a few jobs per day, contact a few employers a day - however pointless - and you'll be doing more than required by law. As said before, there is no legal '35 hour' requirement.. only the requirement that you do what's reasonable to look for work and take at least the minumum steps.

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Most of the advisers in my JC say they don't like UJ at all and much prefer customers to show printouts from agencies as it's faster than having to check through someone's UJ account

 

Exactly my point, same at my office,cannot access the system, lost my login details, lost their login details I have had every excuse under the sun about the problems they have with UJM.

 

I never brought in any prints outs or filled in templates at all until a few months ago, over the course of 1 year, I only ever had 1 adviser login and check my UJM account when I signed on, when that happened they gleefully peered over the top of the computer screen and says "well it looks like you have failed to apply for any jobs, you could be sanctioned" I had to turn the screen around and click through to the section where I recorded my activity and it clearly stated I had applied for vacancies, they were looking at the section which shows how many jobs I had applied for through the UJM click and send, so the glee subsided and they said, well this is just another reason why you should use the templates not everyone in the office knows how to use UJM yet.

 

So if they were reluctant to use the UJM then I did everything in my power to continue using it, I knew it would cover me should any doubt was raised and I think now they have even less idea how to access and use UJM relying on people proving these print outs and hand written forms, so I would prefer to continue using just UJM and in doing so I will satisfy any condition should a doubt be raised.

 

My idea is to replace the template they staple together along with a declaration of no change in circumstances I have to sign and drop off each fortnight with a simple note attached to my declaration instead stating please check my UJM account regarding job search activity.

 

Is that a reasonable request, any foreseeable problems, probably be wise if I check with the local office manager if it was agreeable, and what if he refuses my request, it seems all roads lead to sanction if I do not comply with something that is unenforceable although I might score a victory in the end is the cost too great, lol decisions decisions decisons.

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Seems reasonable enough to me..though as we all know, what's reasonable to us is often not reasonable to the JC; they do like to over-complicate things and show no flexibility.

 

If you intend to use UJ to show all your jobsearch evidence then be wary, as UJ is well known for losing data - in the few times I used it I've had info suddenly vanish and there have been many complaints of UJ not recording job applications as it should, which means that as far as the JC is concerned, you didn't apply for them. I've read of cases where claimants have turned up to sign on having recorded everything on UJ and when the adviser has checked...it's lost the lot; 2 weeks jobsearch evidence gone.

 

I don't think anyone on here would argue that UJ is an extremely flawed system; it's been hacked in the past (and probably still is) and data stolen, it loses info, it crashes, it doesn't let you in, etc. I really wouldn't want to trust it to handle all my jobsearch. I'd still use other more reliable means to show my jobsearch, such as printouts from agencies or acknowledgements from my own email. I've never had Reed or CV-Library lose any of my application data (yet).

 

Use UJ if you want - but also include some other solid jobseeking proof from other sources.

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If you intend to use UJ to show all your jobsearch evidence then be wary, as UJ is well known for losing data - in the few times I used it I've had info suddenly vanish and there have been many complaints of UJ not recording job applications as it should, which means that as far as the JC is concerned, you didn't apply for them
I used the site over the course of nine months without issue, the click and apply section works as it should and the notes section is easy to use to record my activities.

 

Some of the confusion lies in the fact that people assumed that any vacancy would automatically be recorded , it is only the click and apply vacancies that are linked to the UJM system that are automatically recorded , outside links are not automatically recorded.

 

I don't think anyone on here would argue that UJ is an extremely flawed system; it's been hacked in the past
Forgive me if I am wrong here but I think you might be confusing Monsters data breach with UJM, AFAIK UJM have never disclosed a data breach, Monster developers helped build UJM, UJM is a bespoke system and not the same set up as Monsters.

 

I'd still use other more reliable means to show my jobsearch, such as printouts from agencies or acknowledgements from my own email. I've never had Reed or CV-Library lose any of my application data (yet).

No system is foolproof but I do not wish to use those sites so that they can monopolise on my data, I also trust my data is far more protected with UJM than Reed or CV library or the many other job sites that spring up whose sole reason to exist is to profit from the data we provide, these sites use and abuse data to a far greater degree than any Governmental department would or could, there is no requirement to upload a CV with UJM so the only info UJM have on record is my login details and email address which is far less information than other sites gather, also these sites can change hands so there is no guarantee the new owners will uphold the old owners terms and conditions.

 

Ultimately though I think we are in agreement to make sure we have good solid evidence of applying for at least 2 vacancies per week, more if possible should a doubt ever be raised whatever route taken

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Does anyone know what the rules are for claiming this extension ?

 

Does it require a note from the doctor or is it self certificated as with the 4 week period we were entitled to ?

 

 

Extended Period of Sickness (EPS)

Jobseekers Allowance

participants only

10.

Where a Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) participant can have two periods of

sickness of up to 14 days within a job seeking period. From 30/03/15 if a

participant suffers a third or longer period of

sickness, they can

volunteer

to stay on JSA for up to 13 weeks in a rolling 12 month period on an EPS

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Signed on yesterday, dropped my form off and mentioned to the person collecting them if I could replace the paper template with just a note attached instead stating "job search recorded on UJM ,Access granted".

 

Yep no problem he said, lol but that means squat, I guess it will be ultimately answered when my claim is entered into the system should I attach a note instead of filling in the form, I am quite curious how they process the fortnightly signers drop and go activity sheet, do they randomly pick a certain percentage to undergo deeper scrutiny, seek out only those with glaringly obvious non compliance or as I presume a combination of the 2, if anyone has any insights be most welcome.

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I'd be more worried about the jobsearch evidence they conveniently 'lose' in order to raise a sanction doubt. Once you drop it off then you'll have to spend the next few days wondering A) was it sufficient and B) will it mysteriously vanish. The jobcentres do have sanction targets to reach and this 'drop and go' system is perfect for the target-seekers. Even if not done deliberately, the JC is well capable of clerical errors, all of which can cause payments to stop or be delayed.

 

While it would be nice not to have to see advisers, I still prefer to have them check my jobsearch evidence in person, sign and date my sheets to say it was acceptable (always insist on this) and then put my payment through while I'm sitting there. I sincerely hope the 'drop and go' system isn't implemented at my JC.

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I'd be more worried about the jobsearch evidence they conveniently 'lose' in order to raise a sanction doubt. Once you drop it off then you'll have to spend the next few days wondering A) was it sufficient and B) will it mysteriously vanish. The jobcentres do have sanction targets to reach and this 'drop and go' system is perfect for the target-seekers. Even if not done deliberately, the JC is well capable of clerical errors, all of which can cause payments to stop or be delayed.

 

While it would be nice not to have to see advisers, I still prefer to have them check my jobsearch evidence in person, sign and date my sheets to say it was acceptable (always insist on this) and then put my payment through while I'm sitting there. I sincerely hope the 'drop and go' system isn't implemented at my JC.

 

Yes to be honest I preferred seeing an advisor however excruciating it was because as you have eluded it is not nice sat waiting for text or email, phone call, letter saying there is an issue, I would rather be there in person and resolve the issue there and then.

 

It is a nail biting time waiting to see if money goes in and just adds more weight to the pressure they are putting people under, these schemes/ templates changes are nothing more than psychological warfare and fail safe methods of generating more sanctions, I have never felt so much pressure in all my life.

 

In my tiny mind I think unless there is a guaranteed job for every working person then it is cruel and narrow minded to persecute those who are not working.

 

And really when I think about it, soon anyone who is working for less pay than 35 hours at national minimum wage will also suffer the same indignity, suspicion to get more hours, when their only crime is to work for an employee that does not pay a fair wage.

 

At the end of the day, the government are propping up the employers not the employees by providing top ups, make the businesses pay proper wages and that will cut the welfare bill no end.

 

I mean its great I own a business and get the government to pay part of my wage bill and at the same time the government dont punish me, they punish the workers.

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