Universal Job Match: Would you mind your Job Centre Adviser watching your online activity?

w2wOver half of Job Seeker’s Allowance claimants on Universal Job Match are happy for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to watch their online activity.

DWP said:

As of 20 January there are 1,267,245 jobseeker accounts on Universal Jobmatch. Of those registered, 765,054 have given Department for Work and Pensions advisers access to their account.

This figure means 60% of Universal Job Match account holders site have given permission for their profile to be accessed by Job Centre Advisers.

The information which was released in a recent Freedom of Information Request, may be a surprise after the reported privacy and security risk worries linked to the DWP’s Universal Job Match site.

Universal Job Match is an online portal to ‘match’ claimants with jobs.

Job Centre Advisers are able to access an individual’s account and DWP can use cookies to track online activity – monitoring whether you are actively searching and applying online.

Following the site’s launch in December, it was unclear whether consenting to giving advisers access to an individual’s personal details was mandatory. There were reports that job seekers were told they would lose their allowance if they did not tick the consent box.

After an uproar from the UK press and campaign groups, DWP clarified by publishing account owner’s rights. Check your Universal Job Match rights here.

At the moment it is not mandatory to create an account at the risk of losing your JSA.

But this could be about to change. The Secretary for State and Pensions, Mr Duncan Smith announced in December, “We have been clear that this is not mandatory yet and there will be no sanctions for not joining…but mandation will begin in the new year.”

Account holders can ‘revoke consent’ if they have given it previously. It is also possible to delete your account online.

Have you signed up for an account? Have you been told by a Job Centre Adviser that signing up is compulsory? Would you think twice about allowing another party to access your details? Get in touch @welfaretoworkhub

By Margi Murphy

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