#UniversalCredit: Your Work Search. A ‘Coach’ can require you to supply your evidence in a “particular way”? What about your CV?

[ Advice: claimantcommitments.org.uk and universalcreditinfo.net ]

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There continues to be confusion on the powers/legislation a Work ‘Coach’/DWP can rely upon to require Universal Credit (UC) claimants to provide their work search records/diary/evidence in a “particular way”, such is through a UC Journal or email. Below are extracts from two FOI requests that have direct bearing on this topic, as well as DWP comments about provision of a CV.

In the event of a dispute over showing[1] your Work Search record/diary or your CV to a ‘Coach’ (without using the UC Journal or via email),  it may be necessary to share a full copy of the FOI requests below.

Section 23 of the Welfare Reforms Act 2012, Chapter 2…does not compel this evidence to be supplied in a particular way, only that it must be supplied if and when requested. [ emphasis added ]
FOI reply 4528: ‘UC job search evidence format‘ – 17th November 2017

It is not a mandatory requirement for the claimant to provide the required work search evidence via their journal. The claimant must be able to provide written evidence of their work search.

It is not mandatory for the claimant to upload their CV onto the journal, the claimant must however be able to show a completed and up to date CV. ”
[ emphasis added ]
FOI reply 4201: ‘Using a netbook or digital screen device to provide evidence’ – 20th October 2017

:: Related ::

:: Why does this matter? ::

The crucial difference of only showing/providing a ‘coach’ printed work search records/diary or your CV is that the DWP requires your consent to keep them, whereas use of a UC Journal to share such or via emails to a ‘Coach’, [2] means they can keep copies whilst ‘your claim is active or 14 months after it is closed‘ and use it as evidence to impose sanctions. If you have your own device (e-reader, mobile phone, tablet etc) to show this personal data, it will be practically impossible for a ‘Coach’ to retain copies.

“a Work Coach and claimant can record on a CC that they agree for a CV to be viewed and not retained only as a “printed copy”, when one has been requested as “a work-related requirement”.”
‘You must use a Universal Credit journal to provide your CV or Jobsearch record?‘ – 19th September 2017

:: Summary ::

The linchpin will be to ensure a Claimant Commitment does not include a mutual ‘agreement’ with the ‘Coach’ to provide work search records and CV via a UC Journal or email, but to ‘agree’ to show in printed format or on your own device. (if needed)

:: Footnotes ::

[1]Showing a printed record of Work Search records – The DWP confirms that the overarching UC claimant obligation is to show “written evidence of their work search”, the CC can be used for this to be the likes of a printed diary of Work Search activity.

Showing a printed CV – The DWP reply also says “the claimant must…be able to show a completed and up to date CV”, which suggests a claimant can just ‘agree’ “show” a printed copy of their “completed and up to date CV” using the CC.”

[2]Records Management Policy

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