Universal Jobmatch, Concerns Grow.
A new site is to be launched this autumn., Universal Jobmatch.
On 08 August 2012 the DWP announced the intention to launch Universal Jobmatch by late Autumn. A critical set of questions arose as whether or how it would be mandatory under Universal Credit or for any current or prospective recipient of Jobseekers Allowance. Today the DWP refused to answer these questions in an attempt to keep policy secret and preserve privilege and hide how it will beMandatory by Default.
As mentioned in the Open Rights Group article ‘Looking for a Job goes Orwellian‘ the way Universal Jobmatch has been developed without any dedicated Privacy, Equality or Human Rights impact assessments indicates it is not compatible with Data Protection legislation and engages the Human Rights Act (ECHR Article 8) principle that “Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.”
Are there plans, expectation or requirements that everyone claiming Jobseekers Allowance will have to register for Universal Jobmatch and this registration will allow an “adviser” to view evidence of Jobsearch activity on Universal Jobmatch?
The Department is not required to disclose information in connection with this part of your request because we believe that sections 35 and, where relevant, 42 of the Freedom of Information Act apply.
For the moment we learn however, from the DWP’s own document, “Frequently Asked Questions”,
Q8. Does everyone have to register to search for jobs?
This should be read in the light of this (from New Directions),
One of the advantages of the new service for benefit claimants is not having to provide evidence of their jobsearch activity on Universal Jobmatch as their personal adviser will be able to view this online.
Those with great faith in the goodness of human beings will say that advisers will never force people to show that they have searched on Universal Jobmatch. Or that nobody on the Work Programme will be made to sit in front of a screen all day with their activity on this site closely monitored.
There is also more evidence of the reliance on the Internet and the exclusion of many people who do not have access to this, are unused to it, or unable to use it.
Still the DWP breezily states,
Q3. Will jobseekers be disadvantaged if they do not have access to the internet at home?
The service will be available from anywhere that the internet can be accessed, including internet cafes, libraries, and mobile devices.
The most important thing is to help jobseekers to get the training they need, to be confident in using the internet, searching the web and know how to open an email account, so that they can receive the full benefits of the service.