Hoban gets his own law WRONG on jobseeker search proof

This week’s article on the illegality of Jobseeker’s Agreements and Claimant Commitments imposed on benefit claimants appears to have caught the attention of the public, and will hopefully catch the eye of the press so that people don’t fall for the con tricks used to deprive them of benefits.
So I thought it would be worthwhile reblogging this post, which shows that (wilful) ignorance and misrepresentation of the law to penalise benefit claimants is nothing new in the DWP. Please share.


Last month the SKWAWKBOX showed that Mark Hoban, Minister of State for Work and Pensions – already infamous for his dismissive, arrogant ‘cut and paste’ responses even to MPs of his own party – was unable to get even such a fundamental fact as the basic amount of Jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) for single over-25s right.

I also showed last week how new ‘conditionality’ rules put jobseekers at the mercy of Jobcentre Plus (JCP) advisers, regardless of how unfair or ill-informed they might be – without any right of appeal.

Well, Hoban appears to be on a roll – this time on an even more important matter than the basic JSA amount: the law.

In response to concerns raised by a Labour MP regarding the DWP’s ‘Universal Jobmatch’ (UJM) system, Hoban sent the following letter:


Taking a the haughty tone of a lecturer educating an ignorant student, Hoban advises that

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7 responses to “Hoban gets his own law WRONG on jobseeker search proof

  1. I refuse to let DWP have access to my UJM account -as ‘punishment’ I now have to put down every single job reference and email to whom I sent my CV. (Like all the jobs I’ve applied for aren’t genuine as I sink into a pit of debt!)
    My CV isn’t public now as I’ve had spam/unwanted texts/scam jobs.
    As and when start a job I’m changing my email as a precaution. Fed up.
    Furthermore there aren’t the jobs on UJM – most of my job sources are via other sites eg CV-library.Adzuna, the JOB CENTRE will only look for jobs for you on UJM. Avon lady anyone? or distributing catalogues for a career?

    • I am very sorry to read the Job Centre staff are bullying you.

      There is no requirement in law to corroborate your job search evidence:

      Corroboration of evidence
      01380 There is no rule of law that corroboration of the claimant’s own evidence is necessary 1
      But the DM should not accept evidence, from the claimant or anyone
      else, uncritically. It needs to be weighed carefully, in the light of the circumstances of the case.
      1 R(I) 2/51; R(SB) 33/85


      You may wish to point the staff to their own guidance and the legislation.

      For your own peace of mind. you may wish to retain a more detailed record. However, there is no requirement to show it to the jobcentre unless the evidence is improbable or self contradictory. If the adviser asks please insist for his or her reasons in writing.

      • FAO Mary

        Is there any requirement in law for a Jobcentre advisor to make a photocopy of a Jobseeker’s written jobsearch diary?

        According to the DWPs Universal Jobmatch “toolkit”, Jobcentre personnel “cannot specify how a JSA claimant provides us with records of their jobsearch activity and Universal Jobmatch won’t change this”.

        Mind you, Universal Jobmatch is doomed as you might already know – but not until 2016 when the contract with “Monster” ends!

  2. This normally happens if an ‘actively seeking work’ doubt is being raised. DWP must have a bonafide business need for collecting information and/or claimant data.

    • “This normally happens” to one person I know as a matter of routine – the jobsearch diary is photocopied every fortnight at each signing appointment!

      Moreover, the person has never had an “actively seeking work doubt” raised!!

      It appears Jobcentre personnel are a law unto themselves!!!

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