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Hi ,


i am on JSA & have only recently started claiming benifits


, today i have been informed that i have to attend the JC every week .


One week is signing on & job search proof the following is UJM search at the JC.

The latter is why i am posting,

having shown my " coach "


33 job applications in less than 3 weeks & receiving a phone call while with her in connection for a possible job

i still have to go through this UJM search nonsense .


I have a UJM account, i have not allowed them access to it & i have no other information other than my name . No CV, phone or address .


Am i legally required to..

A: Have a UJM account .

B : Go through this futile & soul destroying waste of time.

C : Are there any templates or legal documents i can copy to take with me to show them i am within my rights not to use UJM .


It has been an eye opening few weeks & dealing with the whole DWP is an exercise in frustration .


The one thing i have quickly learned is that they are not there to help you find work , it is a processing center with shark pools everywhere , talk about eyes in the back of your head .


Many thanks



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Harry, find the thread i started asking about ujm, you might have to go back a couple of pages. I got some amazing help about not using it. I complained and won based mostly on the evidence i got here. Good luck


I think this is the thread in question, perhaps?




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

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i am on JSA & have only recently started claiming benifits


, today i have been informed that i have to attend the JC every week.


Make sure you get your travel expenses refunded for any visits to the Job Centre that do not fall on your normal signing on day. They may need prompting to get the refund and you will need to show a valid return bus/train ticket.





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

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Hi ,


this is fantastic , i can`t thank you all enough for the information provided & the time you have taken to reply . If it is ok i would like to make a draft letter & post it up so i can get your opinions . One last question if i may, do i present my letter on the day of my UJM search [ next Tuesday ] or hand in / post it in advance , i am worried about repercussions as i have been told in conversation while at the JC that the manager is a tyrant & bully , admittedly this is an opinion from a couple of fellow claimants but she certainly has an aggressive & very authoritarian presence about her but my legal rights & my own protection are my main concern & i will make sure i get them adhered too by the JC / DWP .


Thank you all so much for your help , it is greatly appreciated.


Harry .

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Your first step should be to ask your adviser to reconsideration her decision to involve you in the activity that you object to, giving the reasons why you object and explaining the illegality of her action as set out in the post to which you have been referred. If she is not prepared to reconsider listen to and note her justification for not doing so. Finish by informing her that you intend make a formal request for a Mandatory Reconsideration by a Decision Maker.


Your next step then would be to write a formal letter to the Jobcentre manager asking for a Mandatory Reconsideration by a Decision Maker. You can include the stuff in the post along with your adviser's reasons for refusing to accept your point of view or the law and any threats of repercussions that she made.


You are right to be worried about repercussions etc most claimants go with the flow for that very reason. If you can overcome that hurdle and decide to stand up for your legal rights any repercussions resulting will themselves be illegal.


If you do not do so already I suggest you get a small pocket recording device and record your interviews.


If you decide to post a draft copy of your letter remember not to include any of your own personal details or details of the office or person you are dealing with by which anyone can be identified, names, addresses etc, leave blanks etc where appropriate.

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Thank you Lapsed ,


I have a recording device & have recorded my one & only meeting so far with my " coach " . she is very amiable & polite but i trust no one who works at the JC no matter how pleasant & cordial they appear .


I will have a different "coach " for the UJM search & will draft a rough copy for comments & advice on her before i present it to her , i will include my signing on " coach " too. Thanks for your help it is very much appreciated. I just want to be able to find employment under my own steam without these futile lip service exercises that accomplish nothing but frustration & IMHO have a negative effect on moral in searching for employment.


Many thanks



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Hi everyone,

i have ended up copying & pasting the entire information suggested as i think it applies to my circumstances of not wanting to be forced to use UJM for job search . Could you please take a look at the letter below & if you think it could be tweaked & improved i would welcome your help . I have had to make 2 post because of my low post count & not allowing any links.



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Mrs / Mr coach / Manager .

I am unable to register/allow access to my Universal Jobmatch (UJ) account for the following reasons:


1. In response to a Freedom of Information request the DWP stated the following:


“…The disclaimer on the Universal Jobmatch (UJ) service forms part of the Standards of Behaviour which are for jobseekers’ information. A jobseeker is not required to accept the Standards of Behaviour when they receive a Jobseeker’s Direction to create a UJ profile…”


The DWP response can be seen in full here: www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/155118/re...se%20v1%200.pdf.html


And again:

“The disclaimer forms part of the Jobseeker Standards of Behaviour which jobseekers are not required to‘accept’.”



As stated in the response, the Standards of Behaviour are for information only and thus cannot be made mandatory. However, there is a tick box for the Standards of Behaviour on the UJ registration page that must be ticked to enable registration. I do not (as allowed) accept the Standards of Behaviour, cannot therefore tick the box, and consequently am unable to register with UJ.


2. There is a tick box for a “mandatory” equality questionnaire.

This is the DWP’s own message (from the UJ FAQ) regarding this:


“DWP requests equality information to help it monitor and continually improve the services it provides to the public. To help us to do this, we would like you to complete this questionnaire. Providing equality information is strictly voluntary. If provided, this information may be used only in accordance with applicable law and will not be shared with employers. If you do not want to answer any of the questions, please select Prefer not to say."


It is not possible to register with UJ without ticking the “mandatory” equality questionnaire box but, as clearly evinced in the DWP’s own statement, the equality questionnaire is “strictly voluntary”.


To be clear, being given the option to select “Prefer not to say” once in the questionnaire is not acceptable as, from a legal perspective, this constitutes a response to the questionnaire, i.e. taking part in it, and is in direct contravention to the “strictly voluntary” nature of the questionnaire. Clearly registering for UJ cannot be made conditional on taking part in a “strictly voluntary” activity.


I do not wish to take part in the equality questionnaire and until I can register without having to tick this box I am unable to register with UJ.


3. The Welfare Reform Act 2012, chapter 2, section 17(3)© states:


(3) Action which may be specified under subsection (1)(b) includes in particular—

creating and maintaining an online profile


This is the only legislation relating to online job-searching and it is clearly very generic. There is no mention of UJ, nor can there be as it would be anti-competitive and therefore illegal. Therefore, to demand that a jobseeker registers with UJ, particularly under threat of a possible sanction if not complied with, is not reasonable and would fail the Wednesbury principles’ test of reasonableness.

I maintain several online profiles through the many other job-search websites that I use and I have an email address. This is sufficient to satisfy the requirement of the Act and obviates the need to register with UJ which, as a job-finding service, adds nothing which would enhance the job-finding process compared to that which I already undertake).


It is also recognised by the DWP that other job search engines are a sufficient substitute for UJM:


"Whilst those claimants for whom it is reasonable will be required to register with Universal Jobmatch, the Department also recognises that there are other job sites on which profiles can be created and maintained for the purposes of work search activity. Work search expectations will differ for each claimant depending on their individual circumstances and job goals and advisers will tailor requirements for each claimant."


As a consequence, any FLA issuing a JSD mandating a jobseeker to register with UJ would have to demonstrate why it is reasonable (Wednesbury principles) to single out UJ amongst the many other equally good, and usually better, job search websites.


4. The enforced acceptance of cookies is illegal.


The DWP has attempted to subvert the Data Protection Act by accepting cookies on Internet access devices (IADs) in Jobcentres. This is illegal. The requirements Under EU Data Protection Regulations (Directive 95/46/EC) are unequivocal. Consent must be informed, explicit, specific and freely given (for both the subscriber and the user).

By accepting cookies on a jobseeker’s behalf on Jobcentre IADs the ability for the jobseeker (the user) to consent freely to their use is removed. I would point out that this is a matter of common sense if nothing else. It is the individual user of the UJM website (the jobseeker) who is affected by the use of cookies and not the DWP. Which particular machine or device they are accepted on is immaterial. It is the act of accepting the cookies that is salient and to which the user’s consent, freely given, must be explicitly obtained. Pre-accepted cookies clearly subvert that right.


Specifically, DIRECTIVE 2002/58/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 12 July 2002 in point (17) states:


“For the purposes of this Directive, consent of a user or subscriber, regardless of whether the latter is a natural or a legal person, should have the same meaning as the data subject’s consent as defined and further specified in Directive 95/46/EC. Consent may be given by any appropriate method enabling a freely given specific and informed indication of the user’s wishes, including by ticking a box when visiting an Internet website."


You will see that whereas the “subscriber or user” phrase can be misinterpreted, as the DWP have chosen to do because it benefits them, the above makes it clear it is the “user’s wishes” that are paramount.


The DWP are of the mistaken belief that the subscriber (the DWP) can accept cookies on a user’s behalf on the IADs. It is in your interest to know that because the IADs are reset after each user a new set of “clean” cookies is used for each new user. These cookies monitor a uniquely identifiable jobseeker using UJ (as evidenced, for example, by an adviser’s ability to monitor the log in times of a user even if that user has not given full access to his account). The cookies are therefore user based and not subscriber or, more generically, terminal based. For this reason the DWP must explicitly obtain the freely given consent of each user to accept cookies as per Directive 95/46/EC.

I do not consent to the use of any cookies and consequently will not be able to use UJ.


5. The protocol for obtaining consent from the jobseeker has not been followed because it enforces consent through threats of penalties, i.e. sanctions.


DWP definition of consent:



ICOlink3.gif on cookie consent:



6. It is not mandatory for a jobseeker to reveal his email address to the DWP. This is confirmed in this DWP FOI response:



“Providing a CV, email address or telephone number is not mandatory, therefore is not



Creating a Government Gateway account and registering with UJM both require an email address to be provided and that email address is made available to the Jobcentre even if the jobseeker does not give permission to access his UJ account (as evidenced by the default method of locating a new UJ registrant’s account by their unique email account per the UJ Toolkit). Therefore a jobseeker who does not wish to reveal his email address cannot be mandated to register with UJM.


7. The U&JM site is insecure and has advertising disguised as jobs etc. anyone can set up as a business because there isn’t even basic checks done.


8 I have not signed a data protection waiver (for which the Jobcentre has a form) and therefore retain my DPA rights to my personal information.


9. Use of IADs not mandatory:


“A3. Claimants will not be mandated to use IADs available in Jobcentre Plus offices and

will, therefore, not be sanctioned if they refuse to use them. Use of IADs by claimants is


www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/wireless_technology_safet y


On the basis of the DWP’s enforcing of consent through threats of penalties contrary to the principles of the Data Protection Act and disregard for privacy of home life and correspondence in accordance with the Human Rights Act, not to mention their own Code of Conduct, please be advised that this is an official notification requesting that the changes to my Claimant Commitment, to which I have not given consent, be referred to a Decision Maker and comprehensive details of the adviser's opinions as to their appropriateness be attached. I also insist on being given the opportunity of forwarding to the Decision Maker my objections and why I regard them as inappropriate.

Due to the matters in dispute and the reconsideration sought, officers, agents, servants or others of the Secretary of State may not issue a direction, amend my Jobseekers Agreement or make demands or impose penalties in regard to changes or allowing access to my Universal Jobmatch Account.


Further, I wish to notify you that I do not consent to my personal datalink3.gif being shared or disclosed without my prior explicit and written consent. Consent may not be deemed by digital submission. Personal data is any data that can be used to identify an individual. Consent may be obtained on application.


Any attempt to sanction me during this review will be met with official complaints & a full & comprehensive use of the complaints procedures, i have forwarded copies of this letter my local MP .



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Hi all

handed the letter above into my "coach " today & asked for a review of my agreement , then left it with her . I saw the UJM " coach " , she marked me down as attended but made notes that i refused to use the computers at the job center but did put in my reasons for not using. She did say she would not be sanctioning me but it was the way that she said " well, i wont sanction you " , i take that to mean that when the passes the notes on to whomever then they will be applying a sanction, i will find out in due course i suppose. Not sure of how the procedure moves on from here so if any of you could help in that direction i would be grateful.



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You have not "refused", merely declined on the grounds that one has unfettered access to the internet from home (or another location). In addition, you are familiar with the computer and software* that you own, along with having files such as CVs and template letters stored on secure media. I suspect you won't get a sanction (not that it is her decision, it is for a Decision Maker to determine).




*) I use Linux and LaTeX on a regular basis. If forced to use M$ Windows, I get an urge to mash the keyboard and get annoyed/frustrated.





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

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Thanks Mr P,


i am not as confident as yourself but we shall see. What is the next stage now, if you don`t mind me asking. I am due to sign on next Tuesday & would like to be prepared .



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So far the signs look positive Harry. Your current position as it stands:


1). You have asked your "coach" for a review of your 'agreement', as of right. The activities that your coach set for you were not 'agreed', they were unilaterally imposed and made a condition of continued receipt of JSA contrary to legal process. She did not carry out a review as requested.


2). You then proceeded to the next level open to you, as of right; a formal written request for reconsideration by a Decision Maker (DM) - (known as Mandatory Reconsideration). This was accepted by your coach and you were not given any indication that it would not be acted upon by either of the two coaches involved at that stage.


3). You have set out comprehensively your reasons for not accepting the conditions set by the coach and the conditions upon which you might accept them, which are, reconsideration by a Decision Maker as to their legality, the coach's justification for suggesting/advising/imposing them, and whether the methods used to impose them might not be regarded as maladministration. You have also made it clear that until a DM decides, or rules, you are not prepared to carry out activities, or comply with conditions, that are, as far as you and the law, as you have reiterated it in your letter is concerned, is illegal.


So, administratively speaking, the ball is in the DM's court, not the coach's, and you have to now await the DM's reply, which usually takes no longer than a month. But, as we know, complying with proper administrative procedure is not always the DWP's preferred course. So what options might they adopt on Tuesday and prior to the DM's decision? Best, as you say, to be prepared.


Option 1. Coach informs you that the DM's decision is now awaited and that the terms, conditions, activities, initially imposed are set aside in the meantime. That could be acceptable.


Option 2. Coach informs you that the DM's decision is now awaited and that the terms, conditions, activities, initially imposed are to be complied with in the meantime. That would not be acceptable. Accepting an 'agreement' that includes illegally imposed activities, even for a second. would defeat the whole object of the request for reconsideration as the very consequences that you object to re your privacy and human rights would be compromised irrespective of the DM's decision before s/he made it.


Option 3. Coach might suggest a fresh start, and a discussion between you both to arrive at a new 'agreement' acceptable to you both. Whether or not this would be acceptable to you would, in my view, depend on;


(a) Whether the coach is acting on her own initiative, or did her superiors or Decision Makers suggest or propose the conditions/activities she is now seeking to include in any new agreement?


(b) That no platitudes, cajolery, intimidation or threats are used to enforce an unacceptable/illegal agreement on you.


© That you be given the necessary time to examine any proposed changes and to seek advice/guidance on same, including taking them away with you for a time for that purpose.


(d) That your request to DM for Mandatory Reconsideration will not be halted, cancelled or withdrawn until such time as you are perfectly satisfied with any newly negotiated 'agreement'.


It would be prudent to have some ideas and suggestions for inclusion in a new agreement ready for Tuesday, in case this option is offered and you choose to accept it.


The DM will probably decide something along the lines of Option 3 anyway. Another reason why you should prepare for it and be ready, sooner or later you will be asked to agree something.


Apart from that there is not much else I can suggest. Fingers crossed for you, very best wishes and good luck.

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I got option 3 when i complained. She did her version of the claiment commitment, i did mine which was just minus jobmatch and they were sent to the dm as well so i wouldnt be suprised if you get the same. If so either just take jobmatch off or add something like youll ask on social media once a while. just set your facebook settings to as private as possible, i have no doubt you do whatever you can to get a job its just my opinion they have no right to nosy on anyone

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Thank you Lapsed & Mrs Fillion,


I would be happy to accept dropping the UJM nonsense & keep the rest, i don`t have a Face book account & i did say at my initial interview that any form of job search on SM was a no no, twitter, Linkedin & such like are not for me. Got an interview on Wednesday so i am doing my research on the company & doing mock interviews with myself, i do hope i can get this job & put an end to this farce. But if i don`t then i need to have my agreement to reflect my wishes & the law. Thanks so much for the advice & help , you people are amazing.




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Hi all,


yesterday i was told that i did`t have to use the UJM system for job search , nor attend the JC & use the computers.It was removed from my agreement.


Today i attended my interview & an hour after leaving they offered me a position, i start on Monday . I went in for one job & after looking at my CV he decided that they would make a new role for my skills & experience, more money, company vehicle, phone & Laptop & i can see a future again. To say it has been a good week would be an understatement & i can`t thank you enough for all the advice & well wishes. I feel elated at being a working man again. :smile:



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Splendid news Harry.

You have not only secured what sounds like a brilliant job with perks that most of us can only dream of but you have done it without, even despite, the facile 'help' offered by DWP.

Your successful challenge to the worst excesses of DWP advisers is also worthy of note and a credit to you, and is an example to us all that with considered perseverance we too can overcome. Thank you for sharing that example and your experience with us.

Wish you every success and an enjoyable and prosperous future in your new job

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thank you for your help, it was your post & wonderfully constructed piece that i used & it works. The DWP have no intention of helping anyone , i realised that very quickly . I am very lucky to have found a new job & one beyond my wildest dreams, i went out for a pint with my old work mates last night, out of 12 only 2 of us have managed to find employment , the rest are signing on . I felt guilty telling them my news , i truly thought i might never work again . Being in my mid 50`s & out of work you think that a meaningful job with decent pay & perks will never happen again, i know just how lucky i am. I can`t thank you enough for your help & advice , it gave me the strength to strap in & take them on & i was prepared for the battle ahead. I will be making a donation to the site with my first pay check .


I wish all of you the very best & once again thank you.



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It was your own action and your determination to stand up against adversity that brought success. It is, nevertheless, gratifying to know that our help can be of assistance and that it is appreciated, makes it all worthwhile.

I'm sure the 'site' will also be suitably appreciative of any acknowledgement you may choose to make of its merits.

Again, all the best to you.

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