Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Universal Jobmatch: as Contract Draws to an End Will Notorious Site Linger on…?

with 83 comments

Off to the Knacker’s Yard? 


Thanks to Gazza for this important news.

Did a quick google and a Guardian newspaper article had been updated to say that UJM does indeed come to an end in 2016. Apparently, it`s run by US owners MONSTER but the DWP told Monster what they wanted from the site and that`s when the site got sabotaged by spam and fake jobs etc….Monster demanded nearly £1 million to weed out all the fraudulent ad`s! So cost is an issue. DWP as usual take no responsibility for the uselessness of the site and waffle on about how job seekers benefit from the site blah, blah….

Another Commentator:

Universal Jobmatch Contract nearly OVER 08 May 2016 10:50 #20018
I think we’ll see UJM stay, just in a different form, with the removal of the job match part which has been universally panned and more put into the logged activities side of it, given how much it would cost for a new system and the fact some advisors have taken all this time to learn just how to get into it, this is closer to what I would personally expect.

Unemployed Movement.

In 2015 this was said (Unemployed Movement)

The Universal Jobmatch contract was awarded to the Monster Corporation on 25th January 2012. The contracted length was for 48 months. The value of the contract to that corporation was put at £15,110,107. The contract expires on or about 25 January 2016, about 7 to 8 months’ time.


The Guardian reported in 2014,

Reports that the Government’s flagship jobs website will be scrapped have been branded as “speculation” by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

A leaked reported in the Guardian claimed that there were plans to ditch Universal Jobmatch, which the DWP requires unemployed people to sign up to, when the contract for the service ends in 2016.

The site’s reputation has been marred after a number of fake job adverts appeared on it, such as one for a “target elimination specialist” for MI6.

However, a spokesperson for DWP refuted the claims.

“How people find work has become increasingly digital, so it’s right, and responsible, that DWP should continually look to ensure we are making the best offer to jobseekers,” the spokesperson said.

“The current Universal Jobmatch contract comes to an end in 2016 so any speculation on what will happen after that is premature.”

Firstly here are some of the ‘concerns’ that sparked that controversy (Wikipedia).

On 12 February 2014, it was revealed in a Freedom of Information Act request [12] that Monster didn’t win the Universal Jobmatch Tender falling into last place on value and second to last place on evaluation scoring;[13] until the service was put back out to tender.[14]

The Government paid Methods Consulting Limited and Jobsite UK (Worldwide) Limited £950,000 compensation,[15] who should have won both tenders, when the new contract was awarded. To date, the Government hasn’t specified its reason for placing the contract back out to tender but the fact it paid compensation seems to suggest it wasn’t the private company at fault.

Concerns are raised how Monsters “satisfactory” evaluation score and high bid in the first tender, resulted in a near-perfect evaluation score in the second tender and a bid of under half the original which in turn made them competitive. Allegations of insider dealing and corruption has been made because of this.[13]

This was also said in 2014 (Computer World)

In an open letter, Sal Iannuzzi, CEO of Monster and Neil Couling, head of Jobcentre Plus, wrote: “The current contract between DWP and Monster runs until 2016, but the DWP – as with any large government procurement – will plan and consider all options for how it delivers the service in the future. But whatever that future is, Universal Jobmatch is here to stay, which will be of relief to the 500,000 employers and millions of people looking for a new job who rely on it every day.”

Those using the site, obliged to or not, can add plenty of faults with Universal Jobmatch beyond the fake ads scandal.

It is stiff, all of the jobs advertised come from elsewhere, from sites which we are already registered with (and which are much more user-friendly, though Monster itself as ‘problems’), and there seems problems about logging in are widespread.

This year Universal Jobmatch would not accept my password and I had to change it – which took a fair amount of time.

It’s hard to imagine that is an isolated case.


If you are required to sign up to Universal Jobmatch you still do not have to tick the box giving the DWP access to your account and can untick the box giving them permission to send you emails. 

Now the contract is drawing to a close we await further news from the ever-so-transparent DWP and Monster….



Written by Andrew Coates

May 10, 2016 at 2:48 pm

83 Responses

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  1. Universal Jobmatch is almost entirely user-unfriendly. From the stiff awkward interface, to the little traps like the ‘reasons for not applying’ tickbox. Any one of which could lead to a potential sanction. Or the waterfall inbox, where dozens of recommended jobs appear as if by magic, all of which you will be expected to apply for.
    Or the way in which you can’t delete anything, or alter any notes. As if to prevent some petty fraud or evasion.
    The whole thing is so very Duncan-Smith, and smacks of suspicion and the need to closely monitor the reluctant claimant.

    Jeff Smith

    May 10, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    • UJM is the ONLY ‘jobboard’ on which you cannot edit/delete notes!

      UJM Sucks

      May 11, 2016 at 1:21 am

      • You can’t delete your account either!


        May 11, 2016 at 7:00 am

    • And the ‘activity log’ is cast in stone too!

      UJM Sucks

      May 11, 2016 at 1:23 am

  2. Reblogged this on sdbast.


    May 10, 2016 at 3:22 pm

  3. The “Monster” contract to run UJM for 48 months started on 25 January 2012.

    This is May 2016. What’s going on?


    May 10, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    • Monster itself is bloody awful. It keeps bombarding me with adverts, often about very expensive, private courses which may or may not lead to recognised qualifications.


      May 11, 2016 at 7:02 am

    • It will end on Friday 17 March midnight

      Paula Page

      February 3, 2017 at 3:29 pm

      • Why do you say it?

        Donald Duck

        March 19, 2017 at 7:54 pm

      • That UJM crap is still up and running.

        Strawberry Tart

        March 20, 2017 at 2:34 am

  4. We are hoping to get a response Arith.

    Odd isn’t it?

    Andrew Coates

    May 10, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    • Of course, at the modern Jobcentre, 2+2=5, so nothing exactly unusual here!


      May 10, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    • Cheers Andrew, I cannot claim credit for spotting this. That goes to the original poster on unemploymentmovement.

      I would point out the following facts to everyone though:

      It was known at the conception stage the plans were inadequate – avg. reading age is 7 of a good portion of prospective users, so how can/could they be expected to use it properly or realize the Sanction Pitfalls? It is clear Sanctions were the central aims of its implementation.

      It’s design was crap from conception stage.

      It’s implementation of no adequate checks of uploaded jobs was crap at the conceptional stage – blame the senior officials here unwilling to get the technology right or resource a checking team at the implementation stage.

      The design phase was crap.

      The implmentation was crap.

      Truly another Sterling Example of World Class British IT infrastructure…. Not.

      Whatever replaces it will suffer from the same problems – under resourcing is what its called – [ConCon Thinking] “Its for poor people so why spend out on it?”


      May 10, 2016 at 8:06 pm

      • Also, some people, even still, wouldn’t have been expecting to be set up for monies to be stopped consequent on their use of the goverment’s recommended ‘job site’. It was (is) being advised in no uncertain terms making all attempts to opt out of signing up to and then using it very difficult (even with the understanding of why this was a way to try to avoid being sanctioned. People were taken unawares by it early on after signing up/not fulfiling a part of what was required and received sanctions (they’d been told to allow jcp- staff access to their accounts…

        Reasons given included: Outside this jcp- there are CCTV cameras on the street – this is no different…


        May 12, 2016 at 5:02 am

      • ).


        May 12, 2016 at 5:04 am

  5. OT

    Quote: “The European Union is a “force for social injustice” which backs “the haves rather than the have-nots”.

    Who said that? Amazing answer here:



    May 10, 2016 at 4:01 pm

  6. Disabled people deserve a fairer interpretation of their mobility than this arbitrary 20 metre rule.
    Celia Thomas

    My successful Lords motion calls for the government to make the rules on the Pip benefit fairer for people who struggle to walk a short distance.



    May 10, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    • No one should have to prove anything like that and there should not be any so called rules only medical advice and records such as with DLA,all this does is allow excuses in an attempt to deny entitlements by placing otherwise meaningless obstacles of opinion which is again open to any irregularity.


      May 10, 2016 at 4:39 pm

  7. To the little traps like the ‘reasons for not applying’ tickbox.

    They forgot about the other trap,not giving them access.

    That site should never have any other access but you. Sometime ago an advert appeared twice in two nearby towns for the same job I raised this when signing that it didn’t look right along with other factors, despite this they tried to turn it around and sanction because both were not applied for, what then happended was “we need access to universal jobmatch” came out in their devious overheard conversation and it ended.

    Go in sign on and get out.Like them its never to be trusted.


    May 10, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    • True that. Sounds kind of paranoid but isn’t because the DWP really is out to get you, make no mistake about that.


      May 11, 2016 at 7:17 am

  8. OT: An American Article Explaining the Fallacy of the Republican [Read ConMen here in UK] instance of Austerity Alone post Financial Crash


    Just replace any mention of “Republican(s)” with ConMen “Conservatives”


    May 10, 2016 at 8:21 pm

  9. One of the benefits of being a member of the EU are its laws in respect to digital privacy. YOU CANNOT BE TRACKED OR SURVEILLED ONLINE UNLESS YOU GIVE EXPLICIT PERMISSION. So, if you’re wise, you won’t check the box on UJM that gives the DWP the right to monitor your actions. Not beating about the bush it is absolutely obvious that UJM is designed to trip people up and get them sanctioned. If you save a job you cannot delete it without details of the job and its deletion being recorded in your activity history. (So a DWP official can accuse you of not applying for a job you scrutinised but didn’t apply for.) Everything you do on the site when logged on is recorded: date and time you log in, date an time you log out (so the DWP can tell how long you were online), jobs you save and apply for, and quite possibly a record of the web pages you look at and how long you spend looking at each one. Does anybody really look at a job advert and give a reason why they haven’t applied for it? Pretty much any of the reasons would get you a draconian sanction if you were daft enough to log such a response.

    When you apply for a job nine times out of ten you end up redirected to another job board, which you have to register with in order t apply, or the UJM advert does nothing at all and you have to email or phone the employer directly to get details as per the vacancy.

    UJM is a minefield designed to get people sanctioned, make no mistake about that.



    Hopefully UJM will go or revert back to something more like the old directgov site.

    What a waste of money and what a cause of misery all to no good purpose.


    May 11, 2016 at 7:15 am

    • With all due respect, it is blatently obvious to many and to many here but less obvious to someone with a reading age of 7 or thereabouts (very common within the general population). And less clear to many without the background info. relating to UJ’s arrival/implementation, including its g(l)ory details. Or to anyone unfamiliar with either using IT routinely via their work/at home, or without a clear or an instinctive sense of what data protection/right to privacy mean, and some ability to research and confirm what is legal.

      I knnow it’s an extreme parrallel to draw but, in the same way that Hillsborough was fairly apparant to many affected directly and also indirectly at the time and increasingly afterwards, but that was not the same as being able to evidence what was ‘known’ and having justice.


      May 12, 2016 at 5:31 am

      • That’s true.

        For example the so called “Claimant Commitment” which applicants for Universal Credit have to sign up to, which outlines what they are supposed to do to prepare for and look for work, is supposed to be the result of a “negotiation” between the claimant and Work Coach. But in the case of the inexperienced and naive it isn’t and boils down to a load of activities selected by the Work Coach and imposed on the claimant because the claimant is too passive and agrees to a series of activities that are impossible for them to do long-term, e.g., apply for 24 jobs a week, look at 5 jobsites (including Universal Jobmatch) ten times a week, investigate potential employment opportunities within the travel to work distance by calling on spec at premises and inquiring after vacancies etc. A sensible informed person would never agree to something like this and would beat the Work Coach down to a more reasonable and feasible commitment, but the most helpless, innocent and guileless people, probably used to simply doing what they are told by the “powers that be”, will just nod their heads and sign up for anything their Work Coach decides is good for them or, more likely, good for their Jobcentre’s sanction targets by tripping the claimant up and enabling him/her to be summarily stripped of benefit for ridiculously long periods.

        Unscrupulous Jobcentres can now walk over unwary claimants and treat them like doormats.

        Universal Credit is much worse than ANYTHING which has gone before: harder to get, much slower to receive, easier to lose, and much more parsimonious now after Osborne’s raids on the new benefit’s budget. A benefit which is “digital by default, paid one month in arrears, with one single monthly lump sum payment being made per household rather than to each separate individual in households affected is a recipe for disaster.

        The system is a national disgrace which, I have no doubt, will continue to be rolled out convulsing the lives of millions because the government intends to try to make savings during its introduction and cannot afford to lose face after bigging up the project, from its inception, as part of it’s phony and tin-plated “compassionate Conservative” agenda.

        Compassionate Conservatism.

        There’s an oxymoron if there ever was one!


        May 12, 2016 at 7:10 am

      • People set up to fail – where “fail” involves loss of income; where this has become a perfectly acceptable end result during a benefit claim & not an extreme or an unusual event. Life, but not as we knew it.


        May 13, 2016 at 12:15 am

      • & paid one month in arrears following a 7 day ‘waiting’ period – so initally 5 weeks – ‘…because… we can’? ‘… because you’re not worth it’?


        May 13, 2016 at 12:23 am

  10. OT: UC & Accreditation

    h/t to refuted


    Page 31:

    Appendix 1: JCP Work Coach job description

    (e) Building positive relationships with claimants that encourage, motivate and build
    trust through coaching, recognition and praise, and encouraging more stretching
    goals and achievements;

    [finding ways of sanctioning more like – only a fool would trust this lot]

    (g) Identifying conditionality issues by taking appropriate and timely action, keeping
    the claimant fully informed throughout;

    [well I never.. Sanctioning…]

    (h) Proactively developing an in-depth knowledge of the local labour market,
    while recognising the roles that employers have in helping our claimants secure

    [in-depth knowledge? Really? Please can someone tell me when ANY work roach has displayed this? in depth means: comprehensive/detailed/exhaustive/extensive/thorough/complete/diligent ]

    (l) Being accountable for the decisions made during interviews with claimants to help
    move them back into sustained employment or prepare for work.

    [truly, a sentence to make you laugh as in where does it fit into actual day to day reality?]

    Page 32:

    Appendix 2: UC Work Coach accreditation
    Overview: UC Work Coach accreditation provides an externally recognised accreditation
    for Work Coaches, bringing them more in line with established professions such as
    Human Resources. There are 3 accreditation stages: essential, certificate and diploma: –
    (1) Essential level: internal accreditation where service managers observe work coaches
    as part of the Department’s Quality Assessment Framework (QAF) process. Work
    Coaches must be assessed as achieving ‘best practice’ in all QAF observations
    to achieve the Essential standard. Most of the Work Coaches involved in the
    accreditation trial by the end of 2015 completed essential level.
    (2) Certificate level: Work Coaches progress to the City and Guilds level 4 Certificate in
    ‘Managing the Delivery of Services to Customers’. This consists of four mandatory
    modules, plus one out of three additional modules. Two of the mandatory modules
    are developed specifically for the Work Coach role on understanding the labour
    market and coaching. It will take around 6 months to complete the certificate level.
    (3) Diploma level: A number of Work Coaches with relevant staff management
    experience will be suitable to progress to the City and Guilds level 4 Diploma in
    operational delivery. The level 4 Diploma consists of two mandatory modules. It will
    take between 2 and 5 months to complete.

    The above is claimed of staff by DWP. Anyone EVER seen/heard anything by staff when signing?

    Ah, another made up piece of rubbish…


    May 11, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    • Building positive relationships with claimants that encourage, motivate and build

      Theres the public image and the one practiced we all know what that is.Mistrust caution and wariness are whats building in claimants from the start,there is nothing positive about them at all.

      Proactively developing an in-depth knowledge of the local labour market

      What labour market,Universal Jobmatch is full of duplicated agency ads that anyone would think twice about.

      move them back into sustained employment

      That ones still going around,after five years it would have dawned on them.

      Work Coaches, bringing them more in line with established professions such as
      Human Resources

      Can anyone spot jobcoach.


      Essential level: internal accreditation where service managers observe work coaches


      Department’s Quality Assessment Framework

      What quality?

      Diploma level: A number of Work Coaches with relevant staff management

      you’d have to fear how they would manage anywhere else.

      The above is claimed of staff by DWP. Anyone EVER seen/heard anything by staff when signing?

      Perhaps Gazza they thought they better keep quite after all as anyone outside would sensibly do.


      May 11, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      • Human Resources – the Nick Name for them in the HR Industry is “Employer Gestapo”


        May 11, 2016 at 5:33 pm

  11. UJM and WHY its going NOWHERE.

    Government and it makes no difference if Labour get in office in 2020 are converting all public services to electronic services (e-services). They are looking to fully automate it with the only human interaction being call centers.

    So short of a successful massive attack on these e services, their going ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE.

    Further to this while claimants were resting on the already i think im safe patter and practices, government is and has been busy redefining certain rules that will allow them to crap all over what claimants state is their legal right. The likes of gaia,obi and Coates outlined quite a while ago on this very website what government would have to do to make this so, well THAT TIME IS ALMOST UPON YOU.

    Very soon unless you can legal speak, claimants will have no approach to stop DWP getting whatever they want providing government doesn’t stuff it up that is which is i find less likely than claimant becoming legal eagles as so to speak.

    All this expire 2016 means is that after the period the full service reverts all its ownership,management and maintenance back to DWP or whoever they next nominate to maintain the system. Websites and databases need constant supervision so government must already have a plan in place without question.

    I know its a massive bubble burst but claimants were advised to up their game which sadly they didn’t


    May 11, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    • I strongly suggest claimants read and dissect SCHEDULE 7 OF THE DATA PROTECTION ACT.


      May 11, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      • Agreed.

        If there is a BritExit, all the laws might/might not be automatically repealed.
        I would point out that NO ONE has OFFICIALLY spoken of this but the point I am trying to make is certain laws will still apply even if the so called european centric ones do

        If the ConMen try and change the Information Act, there will be real trouble as they would be seen and acting to lower the rights UK Citzens to a level lower than in Europe. Most thinking people would ask Why.


        May 11, 2016 at 5:30 pm

      • Yes Doug, if only every unemployed person had their own computer & internet access, so most will just go ahead with it all because they won’t know,


        May 11, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    • UJM has obviously been designed to police the worksearch of benefit claimants. As far as I can see THAT is its main aim. The modern digital equivalent of the Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon.


      May 12, 2016 at 7:12 am

      • It is/was the only reason for replacing their own (previous) site which was itself pushed onto people through print-outs given &’recommended’ to apply for – but this wasn’t ‘enforceable’ enough. Although could be used as a basis for ‘not doing enough’ etc.,
        Puniversal Jobsnatch, though, came complete with additional strings and thousands of individual battles began to be fought as soon as people heard it was coming/were told they “had to” use it & its great advantage would be joint access … sanction battles …


        May 13, 2016 at 12:55 am

      • – a main reason, if not the only reason:- UJ inter-connects with Puniversal Credit (UC – You See) – designed to be used in conjunction with – which should tell us everything we need to know about the intention behind it/what it’s ‘for’ (and who).


        May 13, 2016 at 1:04 am

      • Its just not to police but to do their entire job for them and thus nolonger requiring the costly things called staff.

        What people need to imagine is this very system running autonomously in the fashion government require. The system cant differentiate between claimants so treats all by the same directive. Now theirs no way to prove 35 hours job search unless all done through the same portal like UJM but as you know DWP cannot stipulate this meaning it has to take a certain degree of faith and i will explain why.

        How one person carries out a job search is liable to be different from another person so for instance when person 1 looks at a job they may then go and check the distance of the job, public transport arrangements and costs if no car, look up the history of the company and what they do, might check their financials, look up facebook for disgruntled employees or customers,etc, where as person 2 simply applies or they don’t
        As you can imagine one takes clearly longer per potential job application.

        If we look at time spent looking for work we may now also consider the persons skillset or lack of which again will determine how many jobs are available and thus how often you will come across each vacancy one after the next. This is why DWP always push claimants towards the unskilled jobs as its the only way DWP can realistically view whether or not a person can do better but in truth its heavily flawed as say like in the case of say an unemployed teacher, a potential employer is liable to overlook them as their a viable source for a better paying employer dew to their skillset.

        This of course is another reason why DWP try to make claimants put the whole A to Z of how they went about looking for work rather than just the application. FOR THE RECORD, they cant make you do that as applications are proof enough to fulfill the condition of actively looking for work.

        So that leaves a question of the time between each vacancy found and applied for. THIS IS WHERE YOU OWN DWP and not the other way round. You can quite easily create a structure much like you would in the case of reusing the same cover letter for same type job. Its totally possible to spend an hour on a single job meaning a total of 7 a day if we go by DWP mon to fri schedule. REMEMBER your asked to supply proof of application like the old system when signing on demonstrating my point about all your required to fulfill the condition of actively seeking work. This means you don’t offer proof of the inbetween besides a written statement.

        I could go on and on about this and its many flaws but at the end of the day claimants only have to think a little and their lives as far as sanctions through a lack of claimed work search will diminish.

        The last thing i will mention for now or till someone asks me a question is that the rule/condition is to actively look for work for 35 hours a week, it does NOT and DWP CANNOT LEGALLY stipulate the days,the times and especially important how a claimant fulfills this condition meaning you could hire or find someone to do it for you or better still have a computer program do it for you which in the case of UJM is available for FREE to download. I particularly like the latter considering the expense DWP have gone to putting benefits on an online system their looking to automate meaning they cant argue against.

        The comical upside to this is when they ask why didn’t you apply for this job you looked at, to which you could reply, ” your have to ask my program”.

        You can be smarter, they can be beaten, you only have to think a little harder.


        May 14, 2016 at 11:46 am

  12. These DWP contractors are now realizing they can earn more money by saying the DWP are breaching the contract they have with them. £500 million here a year £500 million there a year. The DWP have spent well over £12 billion since 2010 on contractor contracts. The latest £500 a year failure was the admin for PIP where people did not get a form or any or letters the contractor did not send. IT glitch that we need computer software to send out letters rather than the office tea boy sticking labels & taking them to the post office. So £500 million well spent. At least the office tea boy could make cups of tea & coffee unlike the computer software failures. The DWP contractors are not happy with being forced on, not in contracts doing ore & more DWP admin duties = work. The DWP never send a letter saying Dear Customer, Anyway I have been working since 2008 as a Mental Function Champion advising ATOS & MAXIMUS. DWP can you prove I have been working as a Mental Function Champion !!! [A Mental Function Champion`s boss is not ATOS] !!

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    May 11, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    • I’m reminded of the minimum amount contracts in US corporate run prisons that have lead to sky rocketing prison populations – that was down to dodgy contracts too.

      No civil servant is ever held accountable for composing a contract with a stupid term that allows Hundreds of millions in penalty fees to be paid – did they learn nothing from the disaster that was the Public.private partnership contracts for NHS hospitals that have cost the public purse multiple times the amount for something that they get little of the benefit of and all of the costs.

      The same incompetence lead to the destruction of the UK rail rolling stock and other rail related industries and other government & civil service incompetencies helped kill off the UK steel industry too.

      Everything they touch makes some private corporation money and costs the public in money and services – and they never once get held to account for it – in fact all governments just carry on doing it and it always always costs more, telephone, water, gas, Internet whatever it is the Government had an option to make other choices and always made the worse possible ones.

      • The reason the US prisons run that way is that their for profit prisons. Look up industrial prison complex as you will see how profitable it is to keep people locked up and working at low cost to produce a profit for the owners and investors.

        A prison cell over their is seen as a profit lose as in the first instance a prison gets a government fund per person. I think overall US government pay something like 80 billion dollars a year towards prisons so lump on top any profit from any trade a prison does and bingo, you have rather a lucrative opportunity.


        May 14, 2016 at 10:42 am

  13. Champions Of Mental Functions.

    MFC or COMF !!!!

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    May 11, 2016 at 3:10 pm

  14. If you do not know how to use a computer the advice from the DWP is go on a computer course until then we can not help you, unless you would like to do a medical & fill out a form over the phone. Will you give me permission to sign that for you over the phone.

    = Criminal Matter with the DWP & their contractors involved with Criminal Matters.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    May 11, 2016 at 3:14 pm

  15. Champions Of DWP Fraud.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    May 11, 2016 at 3:15 pm

  16. Plans to force workers on universal credit to take second job ‘risky’

    Controversial plans to force a million workers on universal credit (UC) to search for second jobs or face having their low wage top-ups stopped are likely to be counterproductive, and in some cases will leave them worse off, a cross-party group of MPs has warned.

    The Commons work and pensions select committee (WPSC) says ministers should proceed cautiously with their plans to impose strict and untested conditionality rules on employees who claim UC and work fewer than 35 hours a week.

    Under the proposals, people in low-paid employment, including about 200,000 lone parents, would be expected to attend jobcentre meetings to prove they are seeking more hours, better-paid work or additional jobs, as a condition of receiving tax credit-style top ups.

    It will make claimants earning less than the equivalent of 35 hours a week at the “national living wage” subject to sanction penalties currently imposed only on the unemployed, putting them at risk of fines amounting to hundreds of pounds.



    May 11, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    • This in work conditionality is pointless at certain points as it does not justify the cost of the enforcement of procedure.

      A person working a 34 hour week on £7.20 earns around £244.80 a week. So this means this person if they claimed tax credit would receive £14.10 every 4 weeks. Well that’s precisely when broken down into per week £3.52.

      The illogical thing here here is theirs a service to pay for here as claimants are expected to come to the office once a week, they have to look for better work,more hours or more pay so theirs the cost of using a computer, a room/building,the internet cost and printing cost for evidence.

      Well having a security guard, someone to greet you at the entrance,an advisor to see you for 15 min not to mention heating,lighting,building rent,etc is going to cost way more than £3.52 per visit and that’s not including if the claimant uses their PCs to look for work.

      If the latter part is done at home by the claimant, then by by £3.52 in costs looking for work, meaning why bother claiming, its not like you get the chance to spend it on actually living expenses.

      So basically not only has the government just cost the taxpayer around say at least 3 times more the figure awarded in tax credit but they also managed to end up making the claimant spend it on job search rather than its original point of topping up someones low wages.

      Now im sure government would pipe up and say but they are all mostly claiming housing funds to but considering they cant sanction that because well they would be ACTUALLY assisting you out of work its all rather stupid as whats to stop you just claiming that without tax credit as after all, its still the claimant that decides the elements of the new UC they need topping up or do they ?

      What i mean is whats to stop DWP stating to said claimant no you cant have housing funds, you must be topped up by tax credit first. Basically even though they cant sanction your housing benefit, they can go around the houses by basically using tax credits or even child tax credits as a form of reduction in housing benefit.

      Well while that would indeed effect working claimants at the low end of hours, £3.52 is hardly going to break the bank if the tax credit claimant does not fulfill their conditionality and gets sanctioned, their still financially better off and if clever enough and organize with the landlord could actually inflate the rent by that very amount as it benefits the landlord more than complying with DWP as after all, rent is the landlords living.


      May 12, 2016 at 8:39 am

      • Then theirs this so called attendance. DWP opens and closes at specific times so a person having a 34 hour job that’s 9 to 4 with an hours travel either way wouldn’t be able to attend before the office shuts unless DWP intend to open up on Saturdays and Sundays. So really until you get below 30 hours a person wouldn’t really have the opportunity to attend assuming they have no kids or disabilities that would consume more time.


        May 12, 2016 at 8:54 am

      • For eg. 16 hr working week will necessitate/require 19 hr weekly evidenced jobsearch (?)- irrespective of if lone parent – and appointments made when convenient for jcp-. Attend or lose some part of Puniversal Credit … these are the goals being worked towards by the (so called) great and the good. Sink or swim.


        May 13, 2016 at 1:15 am

    • Thing is travel to work seems not to be taken into account as far as in-work conditionality goes. Anybody juggling several part-time jobs knows full well that unless they are near to each other and near to home the time and cost involved in travelling between home and a series of jobs, particularly if you need to travel to two or more jobs the same day, quickly becomes prohibitive. A normal job involves one commute to and from work; trying to hold down severals jobs, especially if they are scattered timewise, or geographically, is very, very hard to do in practice. It is also often impossible to successfully badger an employer for more hours if he/she hasn’t got them.

      In-work conditionality demands that people earning less than 35-hours on the minimum wage work more hours of spend their time looking for more work or a new job, exactly as if they were fully unemployed. This includes looking for work at the weekend and during the evening or at night. Imagine having to work two or three part-time jobs, with longish costly journeys to get to each one, and your hours scattered over the full seven day week. You might work 35-hours but away from home and on the go for sixty or seventy hours a week all for the minimum wage, reducing your Universal Credit to next to nothing. What kind of life is that for anybody?

      Also part-time workers can be fined if they don’t actively continue with their worksearch to find another job with more hours, more jobs, or more hours with their employer. One woman has already been fined £200 for going on holiday and not doing enough worksearch for the week. (Despite informing the DWP she was doing so.) She had for many years been working 30 hours a week doing bar work, not much shy of the 35-hours that would have allowed her to have enjoyed a break without being fined by the DWP for doing so. People have heard of the sanctions wrecking lives but not of the fines that can be imposed on part-time workers, which in my opinion are utterly bizarre.

      At present an unemployed person is supposed to be willing to travel for 90 minutes to take up a job.

      How will this requirement figure in respect to in-work conditionality?

      If you have two jobs could you be expected to travel ninety minutes from your home to the first job, ninety minutes from the first job to the second job, and ninety minutes home to clock up, cumulatively, seven hours work?

      Four and a half hours travelling to work and back every day for the minimum wage?

      An eleven and a half hour day for one day’s pay, minus travel costs, on the minimum wage?

      Who knows?

      The nightmare is almost upon us.

      I awoke this morning thinking I was living in Brazil… not the South American country hosting the next Olympic Games but Terry Gilliam’s film Brazil, where society has become dystopian, cold, unjust, bureaucratic and nightmarish.


      May 13, 2016 at 8:42 am

  17. “smart strategies” to cut even more.

    Work and Pensions Secretary has signalled his intention to cut expenditure on disability benefits through further reform to the welfare system.

    Stephen Crabb said he wanted to go further than the £12 billion welfare cuts set out in the Conservative manifesto and “re-frame discussion” around disability welfare reform.

    Does that mean welfare reform comes to an end? I would say no. I’ve already pointed to what I see as one of the big challenges of welfare reform – and that’s around work and health.”



    May 11, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    • Note Crabb in the video says, “very vulnerable”.
      So theirs different levels of vulnerability and not just different types now then ?


      May 12, 2016 at 7:41 am

  18. UK industry falls back into recession

    Government hopes of rebalancing the UK’s service-sector-dominated economy have been dealt a blow with the latest official data showing industry slipping into its third downturn within a decade.

    A slight pickup in activity in March was not enough to offset sharp falls in output earlier in 2016 and meant production dropped for the second successive quarter – the definition of a recession.

    The Office for National Statistics said industrial production – which is made up of manufacturing, mining and quarrying, North Sea oil and gas, water supply and the supply of electricity and gas – is 10% lower than it was when the UK entered recession in early 2008.



    May 11, 2016 at 11:21 pm

  19. List of Questions on Online Universal Credit Form. for those who don’t yet know.

    1. Please provide the list of questions currently asked on the Universal Credit online application form?

    2. Please provide the list of questions currently asked on the Universal Credit interview at the Job Centre?

    3. Please provide the list of documents a claimant will require on the Universal Credit interview at the Job Centre?

    4. Please provide example “work plans” that are developed at the job center.

    I understand the above will change as universal credit develops and expands, we are seeking current requirements.

    The information is not comprehensive in the “Information claimants need to have ready when they claim Universal Credit” (Guidance) 23 June 2014

    Our intention is to scour through to find the potentially difficult questions that a person may need to find out before obtaining access to a computer or turning up to an interview – to avoid unnecessary delays.



    May 11, 2016 at 11:42 pm

  20. Benefit sanctions are pushing some people towards “survival crime”


    Well it was quite clearly said on this site a while back by gaia i believe that reducing benefits would only serve to push and increase the cost elsewhere. Gaia named crime and healthcare.

    According to the Crime in England and Wales: Year ending December 2015, shoplifting is up 2% on last year but according to older stats has been rising year on year out since 2013 (cant get the older ones dated back to 2008 t0 2012). To give context to the percentage that’s around 300’000 to 450’000 cases across England and wales in a single year.


    Now i cannot remember the figure but the cost of justice is staggeringly higher than the amount saved by sanctioning a person.

    Theirs no way government does not know this so why are they allowing it to happen. A hint of their guilt can be found in DWP fraud cases where almost all convicted person don’t get a prison sentence but even then the cost from arrest to conviction is still staggeringly high.

    Another common theme of government is they seem to want everyone including those who are poor to be in some form of debt be it borrowing or a court fine. Debt if you don’t know is used as an asset the government claims as part of the countries GDP to help inflate the idea that the country is doing well. The truth is the UK is heavily propped up by debt which if taken away like mortgages for instance would show the real worth of the UK and precisely how well the country is not doing.


    May 12, 2016 at 10:45 am

  21. £13bn in unclaimed welfare? It’s just fuel for the Tories’ Big Benefits Myth


    “all that is standing between struggling families and employment is a tough lesson in personal responsibility”, claims Crabb.

    So employers ARE NOT the ones to DECIDE who they hire then MrCrabb, that employers are not the ones to decide salary and work hours then ?

    I have a question, if all the people claimed what they were entitled to would that mean the Tories would have had to cut the welfare bill by 25 billion instead of 12 billion or drastically reduce what they call handouts even further ?

    Its obvious to see the Tories are still persistently blinked rather deliberately to the fact that a person can be as responsible as the best but ultimately still not get a job and judging by the fact claimants are not on mass sanctioned for a failure to produce evidence of applying for work would suggest this is very much case in point.
    Our government as todate hammered and hammered claimants regarding job hunting, 6 years and counting yet barely do the numbers drop and thus suggesting by following this governments tactics it will take around 8 years to get everyone in work. Hmmm, we were a million plus in 2010, and now around 800’000 meaning its going to take 15 years so by 2025.

    So despite work programmes, work placements, health assessments, cuts, caps, raising sanction periods, the Tories have managed to make the process of finding work slower if we assume everyone could get a job. If that’s the support the Tories keep boosting about is it any wonder why people are moaning. Interestingly the changing of how a person claims a benefit as seen claimants state its more complex now than under the old system and ironically their UC online computer system seems to share the same view what with only being able to handle only the simplest of claims still to this very data.

    If Crabb or any politician really wants to make waves in this matter then stop handing out money and start handing out employers who are not bothered by a persons disability, their 2 years unemployed record, their lack of references or even their age,race or sex.

    Their is ONLY ONE barrier to work and that’s called the employer as they alone are the single causality to all the other recognized barriers.


    May 12, 2016 at 11:26 am

  22. Universal credit is working, insists work and pensions secretary,

    Stephen Crabb rejects claim UC no longer serves original purpose of making people better off in work than on benefits.



    May 12, 2016 at 1:42 pm

  23. The Treasury is the ‘worst thing in Britain’ and should be broken up, says Iain Duncan Smith

    Mr Duncan Smith said he gave a “sigh of relief” when he left government because he would “never have to deal with those people again”

    Launching a scathing attack on the Chancellor’s department Mr Duncan Smith, the former Work and Pensions Secretary who is campaigning for Brexit, said the Treasury dominated government decision-making and has a “short-term” obsession with cuts.

    He also said it is run by 27-year-old civil servants with no collective memory and characterised by a “lack of vision” – contradicting Mr Osborne’s oft-repeated claim to be following a “long-term economic plan”.



    May 12, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    • The thought I’ve heard expressed is no Government will willingly co-operate with it’s opposition to conduct long term planning as the idea that they may start something some future government (even one of the same colour) can then take the benefit of coming to term horrifies them.

      Though how Government finances are tracked along with the bear traps placed in front of local government investment means that as a country we are pretty much screwed over by our own stupidity and mendacity.

  24. Tent cities – there will be many more.

    Around double the number of private tenants are been being evicted from their homes now compared to when David Cameron first came to power, new figures show.

    A total of 22,376 private renting households in England were evicted in the last 12 months – twice as many as in the same period five years ago.

    Campbell Robb, chief executive of the housing charity Shelter, said the Government’s forthcoming Bill – which contains measures to sell off more social housing – would likely make the problem of evictions worse.

    “Today’s figures are a painful reminder of the catastrophic impact welfare cuts and our drought of affordable homes are having on thousands of people in England,” he said.



    May 12, 2016 at 9:43 pm

  25. Every second of your life spent on universal jobmatch is a second of your life wasted; a precious second which you will never get back.

    Confucius (551 – 479 BC)


    May 13, 2016 at 2:41 am

  26. “Every second of your life spent on universal jobmatch is a second of your life wasted; a precious second which you will never get back.”

    — Confucius (551 – 479 BC)


    May 13, 2016 at 2:42 am

  27. In-work progression: potentially greatest welfare reform in decades .

    The Work and Pensions Committee says the employment support service for in-work claimants of Universal Credit (UC) holds the potential to be the most significant welfare reform since 1948, but realising this potential means a steep on-the-job learning curve, as the policy appears to be untried anywhere in the world



    May 13, 2016 at 8:34 am

    • I cant imagine anyone incapable of pursuing higher wages, can you enigma ?


      May 13, 2016 at 10:17 am

      • That’s just it Doug, it’s just the continuation of nonsense from such people.


        May 13, 2016 at 10:37 am

    • I did some asking around and according to some civil service types I was quizzing, the plan is that benefits centres will open till late and weekends (well Saturdays anyway) across more locations – with the intention of them conduction interviews and phone interviews with in-work claimants at odd times of the day and week ends.

      So that may be how they plan to deal with the relative lack of availability of some people to attend interviews in person perhaps… though there was was some suggestion that public contact with benefits centres (not Jobcentres but the places that do admin and don’t have much public contact) may happen too.

      I expect it won’t take them very long to realise that this ideological claptrap is completely unworkable, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they soldier on anyway – and even try to farm it out as a business model to the likes of Sirca in the years to come.

      Or in other words it makes no sense it cost more money than it makes – but if one of their pals can eventually make a profit off it’s privatisation then they will persevere anyway.

      Likewise the toxic nonsense around a “Health & Work” services too.

      I just wish I knew if they are doing this stuff as they are dumb or because they are corrupt – I expect it’s a bit of both if you look at the trickery involved in free corporate sponsored interns – who work as 5th columnists for the company they are sponsored by in places like the Treasury.

      Then you add in that Civil Servants are not as capable as they used to be that doesn’t help either.

      • Detached, corrupt, sadistic, amoral.


        May 15, 2016 at 1:11 pm

  28. Man left with half a head after surgery following a stroke has his benefits slashed as officials tell him he is fit to work despite suffering paralysis and memory loss.


    Notice the stagnant DWP mantra at the end, how its identical now in every different story you read these days of then wrongly assessing someone ?

    DWP need to be pressured into the question of, ” how many isolated incidents does it take before their considered not”, a question you would expect media to ask yet all they do is allow DWP to get away with a scripted notice.


    May 13, 2016 at 10:28 am

  29. Malnutrition cost the countries taxpayers £19.6 billion in 2011/2012


    We spent according to the ONS £3 billion on unemployed benefits in 2014/2015 (housing benefit omitted because it cannot currently be sanctioned).


    (Full report link attached to bottom of link i gave)

    Now it doesn’t take a genius to know if it wasn’t for foodbanks that this amount spent on the NHS towards malnutrition or as a result of, would have been higher. So if it wasn’t for charities such as the trussell trust the government would have quite happily sat their and just watch hundreds of thousands eat nothing, end up going to hospital and costing the taxpayer tons more than they would have just paying the individuals weekly benefit. The very fact government haven’t mentioned this report and the lack of any media attention would suggest the whole ploy was deliberate. The knock on effect is pushing up the NHS’s bill meaning going the way its going, the only course next would be to privatize it, a plan the Tories have wanted all along and the fact while in coalition they award more medical service contracts to the private sector despite publicly denying they want to change the NHS to one built on expensive health insurance.

    So from a cost saving stance, the Tories don’t seem to be living up to their pledge to cut costs strategically without effecting major vital services. From this point alone, sanctions should be stopped.

    (If your BMI is below 18.5, you are in clinical terms malnutritioned according to the NHS).

    Check yours out but do ensure to use a good reilable set of scales on a level surface. Then just pop your height and weight into the link along with sex age and such ive supplied and your BMI will be given. It maybe the case as it was with me that metric does not work so if the case select imperial for height and weight. If you are below 18.5, go see your GP and report it.



    May 13, 2016 at 12:20 pm

  30. Andrew Coates

    May 13, 2016 at 4:08 pm

  31. superted

    May 13, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    • For example, the work-related activity group is composed entirely of people who are expected to recover from their illnesses and be well enough to return to work within a year. In that group, there should be no deaths at all – barring accidents. Why have nearly 10,000 people lost their lives after being assigned there?

      Reckless actions,the Tories and those resposible for this must shoulder the full blame.Topple them now.


      May 13, 2016 at 11:55 pm

  32. Suicides of benefit claimants reveal DWP flaws, says inquiry


    The things people will stoop to.


    May 14, 2016 at 11:58 am

  33. Financial Worries Force Expats To Leave Australia


    You would think this would make the news.


    May 14, 2016 at 12:00 pm

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