DWP Digital Tools of Oppression: for unemployed and people in-work to be exploited by employers

Following on from The Universal Credit (Work-Related Requirements) In Work Pilot Scheme and Amendment Regulations 2015 and the explanatory note that highlighted IT ideas to match workers with employers to fill flexible short hours. Today the DWP disclosed fuller details of the ideas submitted by Accenture and others, to make the unemployed and people in-work more insure and open to employer exploitation. An extract of ideas are below, these suggestions are mostly based upon extending Universal Jobmatch so it gives employers and the DWP greater control over peoples lives, forcing people under Universal Credit to make known the “Slivers of Time” they are free to be exploited by employers or face benefit sanctions.

“Job Scheduling – posting one’s availability through UC Jobmatch for specific dates or
hours within a day…

…people interested in elderly care we could present the necessary skills for entry level, but also those which will be required to increase earnings….

Slivers of Time…

…what ideas are implemented as part of these trials, whether it be from a small scale nudge [psychological coercion] intervention or a wider scale One Digital Service portal or app…”

IDS’s  Centre for Social (in)Justice also has a few words

“Universal Jobmatch is an important innovation but in reality, the department has
only just begun to scratch the surface of the potential of this tool.

Universal Jobmatch software should be updated to  include a timetable where claimants can list the hours that they would be available….

…filter part-time jobs that are appropriate based on what a claimant has already identified through their own work-readiness timetable.  ”

Deloitte on your CV
(suggesting people should add more personal data to their CV)

“a programme of work to enhance  the ontology by factoring in skills associated with non-work and voluntary activities, such as, sports coaching, youth work, mentoring, home visiting, and the like would enrich the skills base elicited from a CV ”

#UniversalCredit: Activities that could b imposed when in employment, including Psychological Fundamentalism “Proposals submitted included a sponsored website that provides details of claimants as a pool of local top up workers available to employers. Named individuals could be booked instantly, possibly at short notice and for short periods. This would fit around claimant’s availability and existing work and child care commitments. Each claimant would be given a personal online diary in which they enter hours for today, the day after or weeks ahead. They would also define the terms on which they will accept bookings.” http://refuted.org.uk/2014/12/05/in-work-activities/


Jobcentre ‘Work Coaches’ cannot make following mandatory

Today the DWP disclosed a summary of it’s Work Coaches (WC) “main activities“, it is worth noting that use of the ‘My Work Plan‘ is entirely voluntary and benefit claimants can restrict WC/DWP access to Universal Jobmatch accounts. Under Universal Credit (UC), it is not a requirement to sign a Claimant Commitment (CC), legislation requires that one be “accepted” via  a number of means. Before accepting a UC CC, there is a 7 day cooling off period.

Work Coaches mail activities

“However, as they would be considered Work Coaches, the main activities
associated with this role are:
–  To make every claimant contact count by coaching them to take
responsibility for getting themselves into work. Complete a Claimant
Commitment and be accountable for the decisions made during
interviews with claimants to help move them back into sustained
–  Agree the Claimant Commitment, obtain a signed copy from claimant
and give the claimant a hard copy. Record on LMS that the Claimant
Commitment has been accepted/disputed and verified before sending
the claim pack to the Service Centre.
–  Provide an immediate second opinion on colleagues’ refuse to sign
cases (Claimant Commitment)
–  Promote and encourage the use of Universal Jobmatch (UJ) for
jobsearch activity. Proactively suggest ways claimants may improve
the matches they receive, encouraging claimants to create an account
and explain the benefits of allowing DWP access to their account
–  Offer dynamic, flexible advice and support to underpin claimants’
personalised commitment of job search actions, and support them to
develop the skills they need to look for and obtain work.
–  To promote the use of the My Work Plan by coaching claimants to
forward plan their own work search activities that will allow them the
opportunity to document their plans and achievements towards finding
–  Support staff in implementing conditionality and ensuring they
understand the level of evidence required in the My Work Plan.
–  To be accountable for decisions on availability with a clear rationale for
the level, frequency and intensity of contact they have with each
–  Undertake Work Services activity with the claimant, including
maintenance of claimant’s skills/CV using Universal Jobmatch where
–  Reconsider mandation decisions (Jobseeker’s Directions) where
requested by claimant. ” [emphasis added] https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/specialist_advisors_at_jobcentre#incoming-640421