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TOPIC: The Universal Credit Work Search Interview

The Universal Credit Work Search Interview 31 Mar 2018 23:00 #6741

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Arranging the interview

The first piece of advice I would offer at this stage before going any further is probably the best you’re going to get. You will not get this advice in any ‘official’ guidancees. Invest in an audio recording device that can be easily concealed on your person and take it to all interviews and appointments. There is no shortage of inexpensive choices available. There is also no shortage of free apps available for recording phone conversations, another investment highly recommended.

You will need to arrange an interview at a Jobcentre in order to complete your application - this is sometimes called a ‘work search interview’ or ‘claimant commitment interview’. This must be done within 7 day of your initial online application. If you don’t arrange the interview in time you might have to start your application for Universal Credit all over again.

You should have been given a phone number to call to arrange your interview after you apply online. You’ll need your national insurance number to hand when you make the call.

If you aren't given a phone number, call the Universal Credit helpline to arrange your interview.
Universal Credit helpline
Telephone: 0800 328 5644
Open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm
Calls to this number are free.

The person you speak to when you arrange your interview will tell you what documents you’ll need to take with you.

After you’ve arranged the interview you’ll be able to find details about it in your online Universal Credit account.

The purpose of the interview is to:
• check you are who you say you are
• help you understand how Universal Credit works and what will happen next
• come up with a plan to improve your work situation - eg, to get training or find a job
• arrange what you have to do in return for getting Universal Credit - eg, how many hours you need to spend looking for work - this is called a 'claimant commitment' and you'll have to sign it
• find out if you need any support with budgeting

The interview will be with a member of the Jobcentre staff who'll become your 'work coach' while you’re getting Universal Credit. You’ll meet your work coach regularly - they should support you and help you find a job. The interview shouldn’t be an interrogation and you’re not on trial - it’s supposed to be a two-way conversation between you and your work coach.

If you have prepared yourself for this interview as recommended you will discover before the interview is over, or shortly thereafter, that the preceding statement is a fantasy. Several hundreds of thousands could testify to that.

If you feel particularly vulnerable or unconfident, you can take a friend or relative with you to your interview for moral support. Contact the Jobcentre in advance to let them know and explain your reasons to them if you can. The Jobcentre can't refuse to allow you to be accompanied.

What you need to bring with you to the interview

For the first part of the interview you’ll have to take documents that prove the details in your online application are correct. These will be copied and given back to you.

You’ll need to provide evidence of:
• your identity, eg passport, driving licence or EEA national identity card. If you don’t have photo ID, the Jobcentre might ask you security questions about yourself and use other evidence to identify you - this may delay your claim as they might reschedule the interview while they carry out checks to confirm your identity
• your address, eg an official letter from a bank or energy company
• your NI number - you can find this on a payslip or a letter from HMRC - call the helpline on 0300 200 3500 (textphone 0300 200 3519) if you can’t find your NI number
• your bank, building society or credit union account, eg a bank statement or bank card - ask your bank for a copy of a statement if you don’t have one (you might have to pay for an extra copy)
• how much rent you pay - this can be found on your rent agreement, ask your landlord or letting agent for a copy if you don’t have one
• your landlord’s address - this can be found on your rent agreement, ask your landlord or letting agent for a copy if you don’t have one
• any savings you have and any other ‘capital’ investments, eg shares or property - you’ll need a bank statement to show your savings or details of property you own
• any income you get that's not from work, eg from a pension or insurance plan
• details of how much you earn from work, eg recent payslips
• how much you pay for childcare (if you want to claim for childcare costs), eg an invoice or receipt
• a P45 if you’ve left work
• any other benefits you’re getting, eg benefits letters or a bank statement
• birth certificates of your children - if you’ve lost a birth certificate you can order a new one
• child benefit reference numbers for any children you have if you get child benefit - this can be found on letters to you about child benefit, it will start with 'CHB' and is made up of 8 numbers and 2 letters, eg CHB12345678 AB - phone the Child Benefit Office on 0300 200 3100 (textphone 0300 200 3103) if you need help

If you don't take all the right documents to the interview, you'll need to take all the remaining documents to your Jobcentre again or post them in (you'll be given a postal address) within one month of your interview. Your claim might delayed or even be cancelled if you don't provide them.

You won’t get your Universal Credit payment until you’ve given them all the documents you are required to show. So it’s important to get all the documents to them as quickly as possible.

Remember to keep all your documents together in a safe place, in case you’re asked to provide them more than once. This shouldn’t happen but it can do in certain circumstances. Ensure that any you hand over are returned to you.
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The Universal Credit Work Search Interview 01 Apr 2018 02:35 #6743

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Great stuff, BB. Very well written and informative :)

I'd like to expand on a couple of your points if I may.
Invest in an audio recording device

I absolutely agree. It's not true for every advisor, but many of them tell you bold faced lies. The only thing I'd add is be VEEEEERRYY careful using devices like this. If you get caught, you can be booted out of or even banned from your local JC+. I've found the best way is a secret voice recorder app on your phone. I sit looking at my phone while I wait, and then when called over, activate the app and plonk my phone on the desk next to me. The other thing is, be careful who you record. If you catch anyone other than you and the roach, you need their permission to play the tape to any third party (ie - a tribunal).
There is also no shortage of free apps available for recording phone conversations

Another good one. I would recommend testing the app before you use it 'in the field' though as some don't record both ends of the conversation properly unless you pick the right setup.
The Jobcentre can't refuse to allow you to be accompanied.

They can't, but they'll try. The final piece of advice I'd add is that everything with them is a fight. They like having control over you and anything you do to enforce your rights will likely be opposed by them. They'll tell you voluntary things are mandatory, they'll try and sanction you for things they can't, they'll add unreasonable things to your claimant commitment and try to close your claim when you object. As BB has said, the idea that they're there to help is a fantasy these days. They're only there to make sure you're doing everything you're supposed to, in the minutest detail. The slightest deviation will result in a sanction and then you have to fight that. So go in prepared. Be aware that in many JCs, the coaches get bonuses for getting you off benefits, which sounds fine till you take into account that that's not helping you find a job, it's just getting you off benefits. If they can sanction you off them or make things so difficult you just sign off, they will. Again, not all coaches are like this , but too many are to trust them.

Basically, it's all a game and sadly they set most of the rules. You need to learn them and beat them at their own game :woohoo:
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The Universal Credit Work Search Interview 01 Apr 2018 10:37 #6745

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Another good thing to have to hand along with a decent free phone recording app is a bundle of FOI requests that state the ins and outs of have to's and dont have to dos while on this treadmill. :)

Will give others a tip, if you have no intention of using UJM as a control tool then dont!

Create the ujm account when they ask/if they ask, and make your cv public with bare bones info.
Email contact only, NO phone contact.They spam landlines as well as mobiles with the wonderful wind up voice message of "You've missed your appointment today at X joke club. " Did this to a mate of mine and guess what, he hadn't missed his appointment.

be aware of this. :evil:

The guy on the end of UC unhelpful line sounds like someone of a investigation squad :woohoo: :evil:

There are other ways of showing evidence of looking for work, so best to ensure that process is logged in your CC as will save a huge headache after.
Joke centre still have an unhealthy obsession about ALL using that crappy website and anyone who knows anything about web design will see how and why they website was designed in the first place.

Has bugger all to do with finding us a job, and just another port of control over us.

As Gibbon says"everything is a fight" so be prepared to meet it like with like as rolling over and laying down and doing all they say and suggest will have you running around like a chicken with its head chopped off attending every stupid cat sat on mat course under the sun so they can all get their bums on seats payments.

If you doubt something is mandatory when being told, ask for the written evidence to confirm it.You can say you are questioning it on reading it from journalistic reports online, so if there is nothing to hide, then lets see the regs etc :)


BB:"The interview shouldn’t be an interrogation and you’re not on trial - it’s supposed to be a two-way conversation between you and your work coach."

It should be ,but they try their best that everything going into that CC is for making it very easy to align at least 90% of people into mini wage warehouse type jobs as they are the take on and chuck employers all over uk, a breed that dwp likes and sells as a great job as you can keep your benefits while in work.Do have a look on line for how that all works as is just a bloody nightmare once you are in work on how that all functions and what you have to do ensure you remain on UC.Even worse if working part time hours, as still have to visit joke club if asked and do relevant proportion of showing jobs search.The system wants people having 3 low paid jobs as long as their working a combined weekly hours of either 35-40 and even up to 48 as they like us all to have the idea to be working every saturday and sunday for a flat rate of pay as well and their all be very happy :) :angry: :evil:
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The Universal Credit Work Search Interview 01 Apr 2018 12:02 #6748

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jobber wrote:
Create the ujm account when they ask/if they ask, and make your cv public with bare bones info.
Email contact only, NO phone contact.They spam landlines as well as mobiles with the wonderful wind up voice message of "You've missed your appointment today at X joke club.

That`s how I would play it second time around jobber as I created a UJM account a few years ago, uploaded two CV`s onto it (one basic, the other more info) but NO mobile phone contact. They do have my landline number but can`t leave a voicemail message as I don`t have that feature on my basic home phone, nor do I pay my provider for caller display or callback features and never will.

What we need to do here is apply the basics to everything and don`t disclose a mobile number. At the moment my coach/job centre only have my home address, home phone number and an email address for contactable reasons. That`s it.
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The Universal Credit Work Search Interview 01 Apr 2018 14:37 #6753

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Very smart move Comply and something which should be promoted :)

"They do have my landline number but can`t leave a voicemail message as I don`t have that feature on my basic home phone, nor do I pay my provider for caller display or callback features and never will." :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:

Their well and truly stuffed with this as it forces them to get writing to people.If i have to change my mobile number will be using this as a good tactic although with their looney mentality will probably write to you and say.We tried contacting you today but were unable to get hold of you,blah blah blah

Their line of thinking will be you are being evasive and such will have to raise a doubt :lol:

Way around this at CC meeting you could confirm all of your contact preferences as above, and have that written into CC agreement so to stop any fun and games in the future,like they agree to contact you between reasonable "working hours," also making clear your current landline has no answer phone option.

No doubt they will see this as you being awkward as its a way of averting contact,this is why they have been so keen to have peoples mobiles,not for any genuine reason of actually finding them work, but to hound them into the ground with cat sat on mat courses and go nowhere fast "training schemes" with certificates at the end not fit for employers to use as bog roll. :) I would ask them to pay for new phone with all mod cons if they ever got too pushy with any of this.

Can just see some jobsworth phoning on a sunday morning from their home office, we have a training course starting tomorrow, be there for 8am. :evil: :angry:

Happy easter to all on this forum :) .

off to munch some choc.

jobber
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The Universal Credit Work Search Interview 01 Apr 2018 15:56 #6754

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jobber wrote:
No doubt they will see this as you being awkward as its a way of averting contact

They can bloody well try jobber but as per their own rules, there is NO requirement for a claimant to have a mobile phone, nor any fancy add-on`s to their home phone like voicemail, which is normally a free service anyway with most providers, BUT, if your home phone isn`t a modern design that uses these features, then it won`t work.The emphasis here is on having an all singing, all dancing phone with fancy buttons! Mine isn`t!

So Mr Universal Credit will work for me by utilising what I provide to it. If that includes checking a UC online journal, then so be it. But if I can avoid that too, I will be. It`s not enough that they push Universal Job Match onto claimants but now we have the UC online journal too. Although given the choice, I would opt for the UC online journal just because it`s linked to the UC account. UJM is a piece of (insert your own word here).
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The Universal Credit Work Search Interview 01 Apr 2018 17:44 #6755

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So,to recap. We have looked at the first part of the initial work coach interview.

Obviously it stands to reason that you have to establish your identity. Likewise you need to establish how and where you are to receive your benefits.

The other thing that needs to be established at this point is how you wish to be contacted. You will already have provided an address, a phone number if you started making your claim by phone, and possibly an email address if you began making your claim on line. There is no point in being bashful about giving those at this stage now since they already have them. If you don’t have a mobile phone, a computer or easy access to one, the law hasn’t yet been passed that will alter that position, or make you alter it. Pointless dwelling on it.

There are ways in which you can withdraw your consent to have them hold and/or use your email address and phone number to contact you at some future date once you have successfully made your claim. For the time being however it would be to your advantage that they and you have easy access to, and contact with, each other, to hasten the successful outcome of your claim, if nothing else.

Now then, to the second part of the initial work coach interview. A ‘plan’ has to be formulated, come up with, to ‘improve your work situation’ This plan will henceforth be affectionately known as your Claimant Commitment (CC). It is no exaggeration to say that what you commit yourself to at this point could ruin your life forever.

For that reason it is imperative that you grasp and appreciate the implications of the commitment you are about to make. A prerequisite of this is to know and understand yourself before you start, or before you agree to anything, what your capabilities and abilities are, and what you believe yourself is necessary, and what unnecessary, to ‘improve your work situation’.

There are three aspects of the CC that you need to grasp;
1. What the law says it’s meant to include
2. What JCP coaches try to tell you it’s meant to include
3. What pitfalls to avoid and how to avoid them.

It’s not easy to take all this in at once, there is a lot to take in. Neither is it easy to present a comprehensive and objective summation all at once without lapsing into subjective opining now and then. However, I have set myself the task of attempting this over a series of threads, trying to work through it methodically one step at a time without too many deviations or distractions. To this end supplementary threads may be necessary, or could be started, to deal with particular side-issues that may crop up.
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The Universal Credit Work Search Interview 02 Apr 2018 03:26 #6761

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Hi All,

Just had my second interview with UC advisor and as Jobber has pointed out in the past couple of days always have your freedom of information requests printed out, very important and reassuring (the most up to date ones when available,) I now have a thick folder full of them all ready to pull out at a moment’s notice though most are committed to memory, I’ve never had to use them as yet but all are there, ready to put them straight if they ever try anything underhand.

It’s a very comforting thought knowing you have some ammo close to hand, ready, just in case it all starts going very pear shaped and deceptive and you can wipe a smug look off their faces quite easily.

The interview itself was easiest the most relaxed yet as my coach had a day off sick and I had to see an alternative one and as I was early (never, ever be late but you should all know that by now) and as her next appointment hadn’t turned up yet she said I could take his turn.

She said her colleague who was in training would be joining us (no problem I thought, the more the merrier, I was ready for battle and fully prepared I’d like to think.)

I’d just pulled out my first folder and showed her my printed off work search proof when she said I could put all that in my journal, put her straight on that one from the off, as it had already being agreed with my first coach that was how things were to be done from now, and besides I preferred it that way for my records, no problem she said and when I pulled out a second sheet with a couple of tables on it showing what I’d done to make it look like 35 hours of job search had been done, another look of sheer amazement and really impressed just like my first coach, quite fazed me a bit as the last time I was signing on you had to show some kind of record of 35 hours was being completed.

Was asked if I needed any help in anything and how I thought the job market was looking to which I replied as it had only been 2 weeks of sending out CV’s it was early days and went into a spiel of how when I was recruiting for a position it would take me a couple of weeks sifting through CV’s before calling potential employees.

After about 2 minutes of listening to me putting on my most regal voice and giving my A game she said she would book me in for 2 week’s time with my other coach (shame, as this one was gorgeous and very pleasant and though it was hardly the time or place, I could have quite happily chatted to her for much longer, what’s that I hear, ARE YOU FUCKING MAD?) Maybe!

So that’s now twice that I’ve been flattered and complimented, all taken with a pinch of salt (don’t fall for it for a second) or ever let your guard down, I’ve a very long memory of dealings with these kind of people.

Though it is very far from a game, they know we aren’t doing 35 hours job search but there’s nothing they can do to disprove it, the best advice I can give is always go in armed to the teeth with as much info and up to date FOI requests as possible, be as articulate, prepared and informed as you can, keep your cool, when possible dominate the conversation, and be confident, I know, it isn’t easy when up against a monster of an ‘advisor’ (been there before a while back,) record if you can (may come in very handy at a later date when they are trying to stitch you up.) Always prepare for the worst case scenario and hope for the best.

In and out in under 5 minutes and though I know things maybe different next time as I’ve a doctor’s appointment coming up soon and things may need to change, but I’ll deal with that when it arises

Hope you’re all having a very fine Easter.
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The Universal Credit Work Search Interview 02 Apr 2018 09:15 #6765

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Warrior wrote:
I could have quite happily chatted to her for much longer, what’s that I hear, ARE YOU FUCKING MAD?) Maybe!

Strangely, I`ve had times like this too Warrior when I`ve had a half decent conversation with a coach who wasn`t giving me the last rights. Thanks for sharing your experience, especially about making sure we have a good list of FOI`s handy and our work sheet is immaculate/impressive. I`ve always thought that quality over quantity is the way forward and to know what you are doing from the off. Preparing for these interviews is a must.
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The Universal Credit Work Search Interview 02 Apr 2018 10:20 #6768

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Nice job Warrior, you have control of the situation as best as you can. :)

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The Universal Credit Work Search Interview 02 Apr 2018 10:55 #6770

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A very refreshing post Warrior; you have eloquently described an account of how a routine signing-on or work search review appointment should be conducted. You have rightly emphasised the importance of being prepared, confident, polite and courteous.

Drooling over the coach is optional. In my own case, my coach is an uncommonly ugly middle-aged individual with a face and attitude just aching to be punched.

I think it would be very helpful and informative if you could find the time to post a description in the same vein of your experience at your initial work coach interview , which we are discussing above, when your Claimant Commitment was originally arranged/agreed.
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The Universal Credit Work Search Interview 02 Apr 2018 13:13 #6772

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I film all my interviews one phone in top pocket and another in my net side pocket on my rucksack which I place on the back of my seat facing security just in case they get above their station when they are walking up and down the aisles like some knuckle dragging neanderthal . They can be somewhat intimidating so always best to watch your back.
Anyway my thinking is you have every right to film as they are filming you tho with no sound but still filming all the same. In a court you have the right to VIS-A-VIS not visa-versa as they would like.
You can argue they are filming you for security reasons so you are filming for the same season, all is equal in law.
Yes sound might be different but you can write from the recording all that is said and use it in court along with the filming you made.
If any court says you can not use your own directors film cut then ask for the security footage from the time you was there.
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The Universal Credit Work Search Interview 02 Apr 2018 13:23 #6773

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I can`t use the recording apps because knowing my luck, I would set the thing to `ON` and some numpty would send me a text message in the middle of the conversation and give the game away! :blink:

My mobile will always stay private.
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The Universal Credit Work Search Interview 02 Apr 2018 13:36 #6774

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You can have your phone on airplane mode comply. You dont have to have it on to record.
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The Universal Credit Work Search Interview 02 Apr 2018 16:35 #6779

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Some more good points there Nemesis. It’s all very well being prepared for the worst but futile if you need to rely on evidence of the worst being perpetrated and you haven’t got it.

It is to be hoped that you never need those recordings for evidence but thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, rue the day that they didn’t heed this advice.

Where is the ‘Popular Front’ and ‘Power to the People’ when we need them?
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The Universal Credit Work Search Interview 02 Apr 2018 16:54 #6780

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BB asked: Where is the ‘Popular Front’ and ‘Power to the People’ when we need them?

I think they feel a bit like the Russians just now BB, sanctioned to hell or have temporarily admitted defeat. Not in the heart, but in the head. What we learn on here and elsewhere is the power of knowledge, so it`s possibly our best friend right now. Everyone pulling together and focussing on the main points, which means forget the `what` if`s` and use the rulings and regulations we know will win the arguments. :)
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The Universal Credit Work Search Interview 02 Apr 2018 17:12 #6782

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What is a Claimant Commitment (CC)?

There are numerous descriptions and opinions of what a CC is, or should be. The ones you need to be most wary of is the ones perpetuated by DWP/JCP in their literature and the ones that work coaches will try to sell you which are their interpretation or understanding of the DWP/JCP ones.

There is only one definition that you need to know, and know well, and that is what the law says it is. You will find it in the Welfare Reform Act 2012, specifically Chapter 2 (14).

www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/5/enacted/data.pdf

and The Universal Credit Regulations 2013, specifically Part 2 (15) and (16).

www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2013/9780111531938/data.pdf

The Act……..

14. Claimant commitment

(1) A claimant commitment is a record of a claimant’s responsibilities in relation to an award of universal credit.

(2) A claimant commitment is to be prepared by the Secretary of State and may be reviewed and updated as the Secretary of State thinks fit.

(3) A claimant commitment is to be in such form as the Secretary of State thinks fit.

(4) A claimant commitment is to include—
(a) a record of the requirements that the claimant must comply with under this Part (or such of them as the Secretary of State considers it appropriate to include),
(b) any prescribed information, and
(c) any other information the Secretary of State considers it appropriate to include.

(5) For the purposes of this Part a claimant accepts a claimant commitment if, and only if, the claimant accepts the most up-to-date version of it in such manner as may be prescribed.

The Regulations………

Accepting a claimant commitment

Claimant commitment – date and method of acceptance


15.—(1) For the basic condition in section 4(1)(e) of the Act, a person who has accepted a
claimant commitment within such period after making a claim as the Secretary of State specifies is to be treated as having accepted that claimant commitment on the first day of the period in respect ofwhich the claim is made.

(2) In a case where an award may be made without a claim, a person who accepts a claimant
commitment within such period as the Secretary of State specifies is to be treated as having
accepted a claimant commitment on the day that would be the first day of the first assessment
period in relation to the award in accordance with regulation 21(3).

(3) The Secretary of State may extend the period within which a person is required to accept a
claimant commitment or an updated claimant commitment where the person requests that the
Secretary of State review—
(a) any action proposed as a work search requirement or a work availability requirement; or
(b) whether any limitation should apply to those requirements, and the Secretary of State considers that the request is reasonable.

(4) A person must accept a claimant commitment by one of the following methods, as specified
by the Secretary of State—
(a) electronically;
(b) by telephone; or
(c) in writing.

Claimant commitment – exceptions

16. A person does not have to meet the basic condition to have accepted a claimant commitment if the Secretary of State considers that—
(a) the person cannot accept a claimant commitment because they lack the capacity to do so; or
(b) there are exceptional circumstances in which it would be unreasonable to expect the person to accept a claimant commitment.

Just in case you might be expecting that the Secretary of State is going to be conducting the interview in person a later clause in the Act allows for the S of S to delegate and contract out his or her functions for this part of the Act.

For the purposes of this part of the Act and the Regs the functions are delegated to a Work Coach. This means that for ‘Secretary of State’ you may read ‘Work Coach’:

29. Delegation and contracting out

(1) The functions of the Secretary of State under sections 13 to 25 may be exercised by, or by the employees of, such person as the Secretary of State may authorise for the purpose (an “authorised person”).

(2) An authorisation given by virtue of this section may authorise the exercise of a function
(a) wholly or to a limited extent;
(b) generally or in particular cases or areas;
(c) unconditionally or subject to conditions.

(3) An authorisation under this section—
(a) may specify its duration;
(b) may be varied or revoked at any time by the Secretary of State;
(c) does not prevent the Secretary of State or another person from exercising the function to which the authorisation relates.

(4) Anything done or omitted to be done by or in relation to an authorised person (or an employee of that person) in, or in connection with, the exercise or purported exercise of the function concerned is to be treated for all purposes as done or omitted to be done by or in relation to the Secretary of State or (as the case may be) an officer of the Secretary of State.

(5) Subsection (4) does not apply—
(a) for the purposes of so much of any contract made between the authorised person and the Secretary of State as relates to the exercise of the function, or
(b) for the purposes of any criminal proceedings brought in respect of anything done or omitted to be done by the authorised person (or an employee of that person).

(6) Where—
(a) the authorisation of an authorised person is revoked, and
(b) at the time of the revocation so much of any contract made between the authorised person and the Secretary of State as relates to the exercise of the function is subsisting,
the authorised person is entitled to treat the contract as repudiated by the Secretary of State (and not as frustrated by reason of the revocation).

I don’t propose to reproduce the whole Welfare Reform Act or the Regulations here, there’s almost 300 pages of the bloody stuff. Read it on or copy it from the above mentioned links for yourself at your leisure.

What I can do next is try to explain what’s supposed to be in the CC i.e. Section 14(4) a, b, and c.
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The Universal Credit Work Search Interview 02 Apr 2018 20:55 #6788

  • Benefit Bolshie
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Here is a DWP FOI response dated October 2017. I include it because it gives a better than the usual overview and it is expressed in a language that the layman will understand.

www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/universal_credit_claimants_journ

Universal Credit Full Service guidance on the Claimant Commitment.

At a glance - Claimant Commitment

The Claimant Commitment documents the agreed, tailored activities that give claimants their best prospects of getting work, moving closer to work or increasing their earnings.

Every claimant must accept a Claimant Commitment in order to be entitled to Universal Credit.

Claimants must take responsibility for carrying out the work-related activities agreed and recorded on their Commitment.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when agreeing the activities that support claimants to get work, move closer to work or increase their earnings. Every claimant’s circumstances are different and every Commitment must be personal.

Most work-related activities agreed on the Commitment carry a risk of reduced payments if not undertaken. Claimants must be told when this applies.

The activities a claimant can be required to do depend on the Labour Market regime they are allocated to.

Other work-related activities recorded can be those the claimant is encouraged to or ultimately volunteers to do. Payments won’t be reduced if these specific activities are not carried out but expected hours requirements still apply.

It is vital to build a positive individual relationship with each claimant so that work-related activities, whether required or voluntary, can be properly identified and agreed.

Any change in circumstances can change the claimant’s work-related activities. The Commitment must be reviewed after every change in a claimant’s circumstances.

Building the Claimant Commitment

Helping claimants move into work, move closer to work or increase their earnings can change lives. The Commitment documents the activities aimed at supporting the claimant do this.

Every claimant must accept their Commitments regardless of what Labour Market regime they are allocated to.

Often the claimant will pre populate their Commitments before a meeting at the jobcentre.

Each Commitment should be tailored and the activities recorded made personal to the individual claimant’s circumstances. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach regardless of what Labour Market regime the claimant’s circumstances mean they are allocated to.

The work-related activities agreed on a Commitment should offer the claimant their best prospects of getting work, moving closer to work or increasing their earnings. They can be:
• required – with a risk of Universal Credit payments being reduced if not carried out
• voluntary – with no risk of Universal Credit payments being reduced if not carried out (but see Expected hours)

Whenever the activities are required, claimants must be advised that there is a risk of Universal Credit payments being reduced if not carried out.
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The Universal Credit Work Search Interview 03 Apr 2018 10:25 #6789

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Can I just take a Moment to Thank BB for all his hard work Compiling all the facts in one easy to follow post.
This has got to be a great resource for all.
Many thanks, BB.
B)
YNWA: You'll Never Walk Alone
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The Universal Credit Work Search Interview 03 Apr 2018 10:42 #6791

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Benefit Bolshie wrote

I think it would be very helpful and informative if you could find the time to post a description in the same vein of your experience at your initial work coach interview , which we are discussing above, when your Claimant Commitment was originally arranged/agreed.

Hi Benefit Bolshie,

Here is a link to my original post on the Universal Credit Journal FAQ’s Topic regarding my first meeting with my newly appointed advisor
welfarecentral.org/index.php/forum-home/universal-credit/1528-universal-credit-journal-faq-s#6601

and no offence intended but I’ve never drooled over anybody in my life, fancied, desired yes, but I’ll leave the drooling for now, maybe when I’m an octogenarian or over, and also a big thanks for all your posts regarding this UC work search interview, all very informative, thank you.

I registered on the 12th March was sent a text same day for meeting with advisor on the 15th and by the time I got home was told by my advisor I could log on with a code number they give you to accept your claimant commitment which looks as follows (some has been edited out to not easily identify me)

My commitments
Accepted on 14 March 2018.

I'll do everything that I can to find work or earn more.
Online account commitments
Online account commitments area Online account commitments details
Work I can do
I'll look for and take any work that I'm able to do, including:
Astronaut
Secret agent
Job Advisor

I'll also apply for any jobs recommended by my work coach.
I'll look for full-time work for the minimum wage or more.
My availability
I'm available for job interviews immediately and will participate fully. I'm available to start work immediately.

Travel to work
I can travel up to 90 minutes to work.
What I'll do
I'll normally spend 35 hours a week looking and preparing for work.
I've agreed with my work coach that I'll:
Applying through job sites on the internet using sites such as Space flight weekly, civil service secret agencies & not so secret, civil service ‘robots/cyborgs’
Checking with Recruitment agencies.
Asking family and friends
Extra activities
I haven't discussed any extra activities.
Meetings with my work coach
I'll attend and take part fully in all meetings with my work coach. I'll tell my work coach immediately if I can't do this.
Using my online account
I'll sign in to my online account often to:
complete all activities in my to-do list
report changes to my circumstances promptly, including changes to work
If I can't get online, I'll report any changes by calling 0800 328 5644 (Textphone: 0800 328 1344).

Hope this is of some help
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