Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Universal Credit and the 30 Hours a Week Jobsearch.

with 41 comments

30 hours a week Jobsearch for everybody signing-on?

Apparently this assertion was a “mistake” by the Ipswich Adviser, but it is, apparently, going to be the rule when Universal Credit comes in.

It is hard to find any confirmation of this.

Is is true?

Will we have to spend 30 hours over 7 days looking for work?

How will this be monitored?

How will we be able to do this?


Earlier this request from DB (see the site here) for information got a reply,

Dear Derek Brown,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 3 December 2012.   You
asked for:-

Please could you advise how an unemployed person or part-time worker with no computer,
internet connection, or telephone, who can arrange only a few hours internet access at a public
library on a weekly basis, possibly spend thirty five or fewer hours actively  seeking work if
their income is less than 35 hours calculated at  the minimum wage?

Will the government be providing venues with facilities like computers (with internet
connectivity), telephones, stamps,  stationary, and transport for jobseekers to and from these
venues throughout the country, open to every claimant for as much as seven hours a day if
necessary each and every weekday?

Could you supply a specimen five day itinerary showing how a claimant sans computer,
internet and phone, could spend 35 hours a week actively seeking work?

We do not have the information you have requested.

However in answer to your enquiry, in order to receive Universal Credit we will expect
claimants who are able to work to do everything they reasonably can to give themselves the
best prospects of finding a job.

There is a great deal of Government support available to claimants to help them find work,
including for those who may have limited access to job search facilities.  Claimants can already
access many thousands of jobs in every Jobcentre Plus office across the country and many
offices have internet access and telephones that are available to claimants to use.  Our
advisers also work closely with people to help them find work and overcome difficulties that
people face in their search for work. Furthermore, we work with a wide range of other
organisations that offer further support to claimants to help them find work.  This is delivered,
for example, through formal contracted support including the Work Programme and the Get
Britain Working measures and also through locally-led support such as Work Clubs.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number FoI


41 Responses

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  1. at seetec in stockport they only let you use the computer 1 hour a week and it is always full what nutter came up with this crap


    May 24, 2013 at 9:24 am

    • There aren’t enough public computers in the whole of Ipswich to manage if everybody who’ll be on Universal Credit had to be stuck (and monitored) looking at them for 15 hours a week, let alone 30.

      Andrew Coates

      May 24, 2013 at 10:34 am

      • Yes And That Is If The Computers Are Working In Northgate Street. Yesterday They Crashed Mid Afternoon Twice

  2. It isn’t just whether or not people have computers. It’s the nonsense of expecting people to spend 5+ hours a day searching through the same sites over and over. How on earth is this productive? This is a receipe for insanity.

    As for the government saying there’s lots of support available: bollocks. Utter bollocks.

    Ghost Whistler

    May 24, 2013 at 11:29 am

  3. Since Universal Jobmatch was introduced, it’s become noticeably more difficult to find unoccupied computers at my local library as claimants vie with each other for a free machine. Only two hours per day are allowed – that’s if you can find a branch library that’s still open: hours have been slashed due to budget cuts with some branches having gone from being open five-and-a-half days per week to two, and then only for a few hours a day.

    This whole scheme is just another example of making claimants’ lives as difficult as possible in order to drive them off benefits, or if possible, deter them from claiming in the first place.


    May 24, 2013 at 12:04 pm

  4. My jobcentre still has no IADs,just the usual print off job points.


    May 24, 2013 at 1:20 pm

  5. anyone got a photo of these jobcentre computers?

    They only had a few jobpoints when I was there.

    Universal Jobmatch

    May 24, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    • And they’re not exactly in a place where I’d want to calmly do a Jobsearch, being in Ipswich right next to where people queue up and wait to get entrance, and where plenty of rows break out.

      Andrew Coates

      May 25, 2013 at 10:53 am

      • Could’nt Agree More


        May 25, 2013 at 11:09 am

      • Told today by my WPP that the 30 hour rule is NOT practicable. According to him there are NOT enough computers either in the public library or at other wpp in Ipswich to cover these needs. Also said that the HSE recommend no more than one and a half hours to two hours computer time a day.

        Sirloin Steak

        July 17, 2013 at 11:37 am

      • Absolutely. Have you noticed that the Library Internet service is having problems as well?

        Andrew Coates

        July 17, 2013 at 3:41 pm

  6. the latest jobseekers agreement currently has printed.

    looking for work,will be a significant part of my day to day activities,taking several hours each day.

    its isnt going to be easily enforced unless people are locked in a room all day.expecting everyone to have access to it equipment is unfair and unreasonable.they want it all but don’t want to pay.


    May 24, 2013 at 2:38 pm

  7. Here are some fictitious examples of the Universal Credit Claimant Commitment.


    Click on “show all files” for DEP2013-0285 to expand.

    “I will: apply for vacancies I’m told to apply for by my adviser [and] attend and take part fully in job interviews I’m offered take up offers of paid work that I’m able to do. If, without good reason, I don’t do all these things, my Universal Credit payments will be cut by £10.20 a day for up to 3 years.”


    May 24, 2013 at 3:47 pm

  8. “My work search and preparation plan

    I’ll spend 35 hours each week looking and preparing for work. This will include all the activities and actions in this plan.

    Section 1: Regular work search activities:

    How often

    Check the Nottingham Post on a Wednesday and Saturday and apply for any suitable jobs
    2 times a week
    Check the “Fish for Jobs” website and apply for suitable jobs
    2 times a week
    Cold call employers located within 90 minutes travelling distance of my home by visiting, telephoning and sending speculative written applications/CVs
    4 times a week
    Following the creation of the Check Universal Jobmatch account, check the Universal Jobmatch account and apply for all suitable matched jobs
    2 times a week”


    May 24, 2013 at 3:59 pm

  9. Who comes up with these stupid ideas? I typically apply for around ten vacancies a week (obviously this varies depending on available vacancies), plus I also make 5-10 spec calls per week, and send off CVs, and I can say this amounts to no more than around ten hours’ worth of activity per week. 35 hours may ring well with the Daily Mail’s readership, but the reality is very different.

    And how will they even know if we’re doing 35 h/pw? Do they intend to use Universal Jobmatch as a monitoring tool via cookies or other monitoring software? How can this even be allowed, let alone practicable.


    May 24, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    • Amber/Red:

      Work and Pensions – Fraud and Error Programme

      Work and Pensions – Personal Independence Payment Implementation

      Work and Pensions – Universal Credit Programme

      Work and Pensions – Benefit Cap

      Work and Pensions – Child Maintenance Group Change

      Bloody hell…


      May 25, 2013 at 11:43 am

      • Red Flag ? False Flag ? What Next. Govt Will Be Looking To Bury Bad News On Backs Of The Unemployed ?.


        May 25, 2013 at 4:07 pm

  10. The DWP are work mad!

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    May 25, 2013 at 9:28 am

  11. My ‘adviser used the term ‘Red flags’ in relation to my unemployed status the other week.

    I said ‘Red flag? What’s a red flag? You mean the government are upset that i am unemployed? Red and flag are just two words in the english language to me’.

    She didn’t have an answer for that.

    In relation to this alleged 30+ hours jobsearch. I personally believe it is totally unenforceable and that the sanctions process will potentially be flooded with people who cannot possibly comply with such a draconian scheme.

    Because it is so ridiculous i try not to be too concerned about it at the moment.

    Mr No

    May 25, 2013 at 6:02 pm

  12. Oh yeah, one other question i have is regarding these FOI requests.

    The same vague cover all statements appear. Is it not possible to compose it in such a way that you force simple yes or no answers from them?

    I guess the answer is no. Lol.

    Mr No

    May 25, 2013 at 6:06 pm

  13. my box has a red flag in it pmsl wondered what that was for haha

    o well if they try it with me ill just say you sent me to the wp over 2 years ago i had 1 meeting if you can call it that and thats all the help i have received so far.

    apart from the first meeting where they left me in the training room for an hour and half and forgot i was there and had to go back cos they were closing at 5pm

    what a fucking joke the wp is mandatory my ass all they r is tax payers money extractors to line there pockets for doing fuck all.

    why should i work and pay tax so these wankers get 20k a year for doing WHAT?

    super ted

    May 25, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    • red flag may mean knows way around system.. could be trouble [for us]


      May 26, 2013 at 1:03 pm

  14. Damn… someone didn’t like the jobcentre


    The bloke went to jail for it… elsewhere in Suffolk, a Mayor drove into a Tesco store (ok didn’t damage anything) and isn’t being investigated or even having his licence taken away,

    Universal Jobmatch

    May 25, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    • Could say it was a novelty on-spec job application?

      something survived...

      June 16, 2013 at 7:48 am

  15. I have never done 35 hours a week jobsearch in my life. I receive £71 per week JSA and at £6.09 per week minimum wage this amounts to roughly 11-12 hours work a week on my PC at home. According to my Jobcentre Advisor my job search is very good and my Jobseekers Direction requires me to take 12 job steps per week. Not sure how 35 hours a week is enforceable without someone living with you 24/7.


    May 26, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    • The onus is on you to prove it… they fully know people wont do job search for even half of that per week. This is to trip you up… you know, “I did a 20 hour job search last week Guv” […] and “I have a job starting in 4 weeks time…”. Save you from congratulations, “oh, only 20 hours per week? Probably why you are unemployed and signing on” – despite you telling them you have secured a job and therefore 20 hours being more than adequate.

      Universal Jobmatch

      May 28, 2013 at 6:42 am

  16. Whoops! I meant of course per hour minimum wage. Even the DWP are not that mean to me(yet).


    May 26, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    • the minimum wage only applies to those with work. the minimum income (defined by dwp) is national insurance stamps… yes, 3 years without benefits… or perhaps they also ban NI contributions too?

      Universal Jobmatch

      May 28, 2013 at 6:43 am


    With predictions of unrest and mayhem about to explode on the streets of Broken Britain due to the misery and sense of hopelessness inflicted on the poor by savage benefit cuts, a new drug called Sisa (pronounced shisa) is about to hit the streets.

    Called “cocaine for the poor”, it is already killing Greek youths plague by austerity.

    That’s all we need; destitute, drug-crazed, brain-damaged, zombie killer maniacs marauding around.

    Report here:



    May 27, 2013 at 9:32 am

    • My local jobcentre has just opened up an empty office near the waiting area. Glass panelled and near advisers desks. About 6 computers in there plus the ones in the reception area.
      Wonder what is in store [for us now] if the computers are for ”jobseekers”


      June 1, 2013 at 7:48 am

  18. This is never going to be enforced, there is just no way they could prove you did or did not do 30+ hours job search, half the time the JCP dont even have the time to check people’s diarys properly. Only possible way this could be done is to revert back to the old new deal ways where people are sat in box rooms 30 hours a week..


    May 28, 2013 at 11:04 am

    • “Cocaine for the poor” has been doing the rounds in the USA for 40 odd years. Shista, by another name is Crystal Meth. Can’t see it getting popular in this country to be honest – the addicts get their opiates for nowt off the NHS – for now at least anyway!


      June 1, 2013 at 1:18 am

      • Hello “Freddie”

        You are right, there is nothing new under the sun, after all!

        The “new austerity drug” is no doubt just another variant on the already adulterated substance which desperate junkies turn to.

        Mind you, with the new “hit squads” harassing the poor at Jobcentres with workfare and endless job searches for jobs which don’t exist in the first place, there is likely to be a plague of zombie-like creatures walking around anyway!!

        There has to be a limit on how long anyone can be kept on a treadmill of no-hope job-seeking. Speeding-up the job-seeking treadmill without creating any more jobs is a recipe for serious unrest – especially after the shambolic failure of the Work Programme.


        June 1, 2013 at 11:24 am

      • It is also a sign that having failed with their project for the wholesale use of workfare through the Community Action Programme they were determined to show that they are still “real hard” by rolling this pile of cack out (if you can roll cack, I suppose you can).

        Politics run by emotion are always bad, and this set of policies will create as you say Tobanem, a mass of people seething with resentment.

        Andrew Coates

        June 1, 2013 at 11:36 am

  19. Although i’m not from Ipswich, i am claiming universal credit, also. They have told me to write down the hours i do for searching and applying for each job or websites on my universal jobmatch page. I’m not saying i’m going to lie my way through as there’s no way of checking my actual hours, but expecting us to do 35 hours a week is ridiculous. We basically have no life other than searching for jobs.


    July 12, 2013 at 1:51 pm

  20. Yes I found that today. By the way I was also with my WPP on ”worksearch activity” this was a ”booked 25 minute session”. UJM failed twice and through me out. Adviser was watching. He said it’s pointless using the ujm site as the jobs are posted else where. But not using it and filing in the activity block daily the JCP WILL SANCTION.

    sirloin steak

    July 17, 2013 at 5:28 pm

  21. I live in South Wales and Jobseekers have been told at the local jobcentre that we have now got to 40+ hours jobsearch a week which includes looking on line, travelling around to different companies asking and handing in Cv’s, also telephoning companies asking for jobs, also writing letters and sending CV through post. If we don’t comply with these new rules our money will be sanctioned for 4 weeks or more. How stupid can these people be how the hell are we supposed to do all this on jobseekers allowance when we can just about afford to survive, and these work programmes are a waist of time I attend one and all they ask is how is my jobsearching going and tell me to sign up with agency’s which I have already signed up with a few and never hear anything from them and when I phone to enquire about any vacancy’s they may have all I get is they will be in touch if anything comes n even though they seem to have jobs advertised but nothing is ever available.


    November 25, 2013 at 3:44 pm

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