Our advice can be summed up as:
- You may be forced to sign up to Universal Jobmatch
- Don’t give access to your account when this happens
- Revoke this access if you’ve given it already
On 1 March 2013 PCS, the trade union of Jobcentre staff, released a statement saying that the website will become mandatory on Monday 4 March 2013. From Monday you may be forced to sign up to the Universal Jobmatch and threatened with sanctions if you refuse to do so. When this happens, it is important that you protect your rights and privacy when creating an account.
Even if you sign up to the website, you do not have to let Jobcentre or DWP monitor your activity on it. PCS' statement makes this clear:
If, and when, a claimant signs up to UJ, they will be encouraged to give DWP access to their account. However, it is absolutely clear from a legal perspective that the claimant does not have to tick the box to give DWP access to their account, and can provide alternative proof of UJ sign up and use, e.g. screenprints
Your advisor will most likely pressurize you to give them access to your account. It is important that you do not do that. Giving them access will make it much easier for them to find a reason to sanction you in the future. Avoid this as much as possible! Read and follow the advice below.
Do not authorise DWP to view your account on the website
Signing up to the website is a two step process. First your create a Government Gateway ID, then you create an account on Universal Jobmatch using that ID. In the second step, you have to fill in a form on the website. It is important that you do not tick a checkbox labelled I authorise DWP to view my accounts, including job search activity, feedback and notes. You do not have to do that - click on the question mark next to it to confirm that it is not required.
Even if you signed up to the website and and authorised DWP to view your account, you can still change that. Log in to the website, click on the Profile link in the top right corner of the page. You will see a form identical to the one you used to sign up. Scroll to the bottom, untick the I authorise DWP… checkbox and Save.
Do not sign paper forms allowing access to your account
The letter referred to in your request is not a nationally approved Universal Jobmatch (UJ) product. We have therefore requested all Jobcentre Plus offices refrain from using locally produced products and as a result of this, documents of this nature should no longer be in circulation.
The Terms and Conditions of the website say:
2.3 You agree not to: 2.3.12 share your login credentials to the site with anyone else;
This applies to all forms and other ways of sharing your login details to Universal Jobmatch.