Universal Jobmatch – Know Your Rights! (updated 7/12/12)

JSA claimants are being told that they ‘must’ use the Universal Jobmatch to look for jobs and create an account in it. However, there are increasing worries about this system.

Monstrous confidentiality problems…

The Jobcentre reassures you that your details and CV, if put on the UJM, can only be accessed by ‘authorised employers’. This sounds safe, but is it? Anyone who is an ‘authorised employer’ can access your details: they may include neighbours, present or future landlords, abusive ex-partners etc.

And how are those who sign up as ’employers’ authorised before they are allowed to see your details? This is a good question. We tried registering ourselves as employers and were authorised automatically!

In fact, Jobcentre Plus doesn’t even claim to be able to guarantee security:
‘We… cannot guarantee that people or organisations without permission will not gain access to this database’.

Will it happen? Probably yes: the business which runs the UJM is none other than Monster Worldwide, an online recruitment company with a long record of scandals for monstrous data losses!

In 2009 hackers snatched personal details of 4.5 million jobseekers who had put their CVs and other information in Monster’s hands, and was reported in the Guardian:

And on Thursday Channel 4 news online revealed that a fake job ad posted by a group of hackers seeking to draw attention to the security flaws was able to harvest the personal details of over 70 jobseekers, including passwords and scanned passport details!

Techno surveillance…

Besides issues of confidentiality, you may be worried about potential IT surveillance. With the government’s new brilliant idea that job seekers should be job seeking for 35 hours a week, your activity within the Universal Jobmatch could in principle (and in the future) be monitored, plunging you into an Orwellian nightmare.

Cuts to services and staff…

Last but not least, the Universal Jobmatch is the government’s latest attempt to make the service ‘leaner’ through the inconsiderate use of IT, and is an attack on both claimants and Jobcentre workers. The service will have less staff you can speak to face to face, and, at the same time, more workers will themselves end up on the dole.

If you are a keen Jobcentre adviser, and do your best to convince (or force) people into joining the UJM, please think twice: the UJM can eventually make you redundant!

What to do?

Worried about confidentiality?
We have received reassurances that joining the Universal Jobmatch is not mandatory and that you can discuss alternative and effective forms of job search with your adviser. Only if you are obliged through a formal order called ‘Direction’ can you be sanctioned for not joining the UJM.  (update 15/12/12 – this is now not the case in Brighton following PCS intervention)

PCS, the trade union for Jobcentre workers, has put out advice to its members making it clear that the use of Universal Jobmatch is voluntary.

If you feel you will be put under pressure, contact the Unemployed Centre on 01273 540717: they will accompany you and speak to your adviser.

Do you want a job and don’t want to miss out on something?
You can always use the Universal Jobmatch anonymously as a job search engine. You can type a list of skills and the machine will match them with jobs: you do NOT need to create an account for this service. You do NOT need to use the UJM to store or circulate your CV. You can apply for any job by contacting employers directly.

However, we have tried out the UJM and found out that its job selection is not great. Other job search engines may give you many more chances!

What about if you have already created an account and have changed your mind?
Contact the Unemployed Centre on 01273 540717 and they will help you do this.


About Brighton Benefits Campaign

Fighting the assault on welfare since 2010
This entry was posted in Factsheets, Universal Jobmatch. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Universal Jobmatch – Know Your Rights! (updated 7/12/12)

  1. Tyler Durden says:

    Jobcentres are going to stop using log booklets, which will force people to log on to the website. Interested to know what what advice you have and how to cope with this tactic.

    • Thanks for raising this. It might be another way claimants will be scared into signing up. However you only have to keep a written record of your activity, so even if the log booklets are withdrawn, you can hand in your own record. Some of our members do this already as the space on the log is so small!

  2. Devon Jobseeker says:

    You say that if you are put under pressure you should:
    “If you feel you will be put under pressure, contact the Unemployed Centre on 01273 540717: they will accompany you and speak to your adviser.”

    Is this service only available to people in Brighton? I am in Devon and have been told at my last two signing appointments it is mandatory, despite voicing my security concerns.

    Any advice greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    • Sadly the TUC Unemployed Centre in Brighton is one of the few remaining (the one in Plymouth closed in 2005). We will try to find out where you can get this kind of support in your area. Signing up for UJM is definitely voluntary, but Jobcentre staff are being bullied by their managers to sign people up.

  3. Andrew says:

    I have some serious concerns over the Universal Jobmatch.

    First major concern is the use of cookies. Can anyone please explain to me why I need to have these cookies installed.

    The cookies in question are as follows:

    SPLIT_BILLING_OPTION15808147 This cookie allows the service to remember shopping cart billing information. 1 hour

    UpsellFlow This cookie allows the service to remember upsell information. When you close the browser.

    upsellParams This cookie allows the service to remember upsell information. Session

    Not sure why split billing information and upsell information is being collected by the DWP/Monster

    Second concern is you now can not use the site properly to search for jobs with out having an account. It will ONLY give you the application details after you log in. No account = No log in = No details.

    Anyone any ideas how to use this site without having invasive cookies on your PC.

  4. janemccourt says:

    I was told one week ‘It is not mandatory….but you have to have a valid reason not to register….’ then, on Monday, 10th Dec at Stockport JC that ‘it is mandatory, no one else has been negative about UNiversal Job Match….’ I had to sign a new agreement stating that I will register with the site; if I won’t give the JC access to my account I will have to print off my searches etc to PROVE my compliance. When did this bullying/ harassment become legal?

  5. tomolika says:

    Actually they are treating this as if it is mandatory. They definitely didn’t mention anything about it being voluntary. I felt as if I had to follow their orders or else they sanction me like they are doing many other people for one thing or another. They punishing us for being unemployed, yet they can’t even help us find work, we got to do it all ourselves and show them how we doing it.

  6. We have confirmed with our Jobcentre & PCS union organisers that signing up for Universal Jobmatch is definitely voluntary. If you have been told otherwise this is an attempt to force you into signing up.

    The article for Jobcentre workers on the PCS website makes it clear that Jobcentre staff are themselves being bullied by management to get the numbers up in any way they can.

    There is also useful info on your rights at:

    And a good discussion thread at:


  7. chipworker says:

    Ian Duncan Smith say this becomes compulsory in the new year.
    Time to throw my PC in the bin (bored with it now anyway) and dump my internet connection to save some money. No worries, the Jobcentre will be buying thousands of PCs and employing hundreds of ex advisors as computer room techs. Internet hardware & connectivity cost; so it’s like building jobcentres 100 miles apart, then you could only use them if you had a car.

  8. I live in worthing and have been told that the UJM is mandatory and that I have to write the book out as well, I am still awaiting the results of a recent HRT and have been bounced across systems for hours, I have resorted to a crisis loan for food (I applied online on the 31st and am still awaiting payment) and have been told that my mailing address is being counted as my living address.

    I’ve told them three times is incorrect, I am living back with my parents but require mail to be sent elsewhere due to my mum’s daily correspondence and filing methods! My friend helps me with my paperwork and keeps it safe out of the hands of dusty folders.

    With the Crisis loan I read that they must provide around £6 a day food, I ended up receiving £33 for the period between the 9th and 22nd January (around £2.53 a day) and was told I could not apply for another one until this date.

    With regard to the JobMatch, I do not feel like my details are safe and that it is feasible to be looking for work for longer than the average job in my local area would employ me for, I have community projects, a teaching course and real life job searching through the members of my community to accomplish, on top of ensuring all of this is logged on an insecure server.

    I need help! I have my third sign on on the 25th and want to press my rights, i am a genuine job searcher who’s not trying to sit on the system but am not receiving any genuine help from staff, only the security staff inside!

  9. something survived... says:

    What if you got told to use computers for online applications and UJM and jobsearch, but are blind? What if computer screens make you ill or have seizures? Or you have sensitivity to electrical equipment? or can’t type, maybe lack usable fingers/hands?

    offline from now as in wpp at mo!

  10. joe bloggs says:

    jobcentre staff and bosses also goverment people are not on this planet. job centre staff are sending people round to employers for a job that dont exsist. some of them want to try and do it. employers are getting fed up with people calling round for jobs that do not exist. staff in the job centre say that if we do not sign up we could get our money stopped also if we fill the forms in wrong we get our money stopped. WE THINK THAT THIS IS WRONG.even some employers think that it is off this planet.

  11. mark says:

    How can the orwelian Universal Jobmatch ever be compulsary? as it uses cookies, And to force a person to accept cookies on their computer is illegal.

  12. Geoff Cooper says:

    my daughter and me had our jobseeker’s allowance stopped for a fortnight over christmas and I have been threatened with having it stopped again (for a month this time) if I don’t make more online jobseekers ‘actions’. I am not too familiar with computers and anyway the possible jobs I can even apply for in my area simply do not exist at present. Are they not breaking the law by denying a five year old a basic minimum income? I would have thought so – does anyone know?

  13. clare says:

    i am not computer literate,can just about do this!i went to jsa last tuesday i had done 7 apps for jobs through ujm 4 of them had 2 do direct thro email.which i gave them details of becos i hadnt ticked the BOX i could not prove the other 3.i was told i would lose my monies from 2 to 4 weeks.had a letter today and yes they have sanctioned me for 2 weeks! so no money.i explained i do not no how to send cv ect and rely on my daughter to do the applying for me.no matter how i try i mess up. i also had to go back in on saturday and was told i would be sent on a course A4E to help me find a job, that i would be called on monday today is wedensday no call!! i only have a mobile so cant call them 0845 no.i have to take 3 buses to get to job centre. and have to go back again on saturday.by the way i was in the jsa for 5 mins on saturday what the point was i dont no!! the guy hasnt even done what he was sopose to do! re put me on a course to help me find a job.

  14. I_am_Spartacus says:

    Just told today that I must sign up to Universal Job Match or risk sanction. They have me over a barrel and tomorrow they are going to lay down the law in interview. Bollox! I will NOT be signing or agreeing. I have a good understanding of my digital rights….they cannot insist. The site strips individuals of their rights, it is insecure, open to identity fraud and completely irrespsonible: it is an infringement on democracy & conservative values and if enforced will be in violation of UK & Eupopean Law of a free-market (requiring Monopolies Commission involvement) and it is simply ill-concieved and half-assed. Secure 3rd party recrutiment agency companies which I am already registered with and use reguarly supply everything I require. I WILL NOT BE SIGNING OR REGISTERING> DO NOT ALLOW THIS ON YOUR JOB SEEKERS AGREEMENT. IDS is a pomopus, overpaid toffee nosed tosser who needs himself to do a fair days ethical work instead of blighting the lives of peole down on their luck seeking work. The UJM system is simply a vehicle to persecute, erode your rights and steal your entitlement as a citizen !! DO NOT AGREE
    WE_are_Spartus !!

  15. fed up and about to be sanctioned says:

    Please sign this e petition to get this stopped I have been sanctioend after being lcoked out and they have not reset my account in 2.5 months.


    • chipworker says:


      • sanctioned says:

        Thanks – please keep passing it round – a load of signatures are needed for them to sit up and take note! 🙂

      • I-am-Spartacus says:

        Utterly detest this insufferable government and the cost of their abuses of the vulnerable…the trolls at their side are nothing new

  16. Lee says:

    Just got refused JSA for not supplying a print out of my Universal Jobmatch account pages. I handed them a written job search and I am already on UJM but they refuse to sign me. Their team leader refused to talk to be about the decision.

  17. chris pickering says:

    i was changed to signing weekly as well as given a lot of other infomation about courses and ujm i missed the first weekly signing and was sanctioned for 4 weeks they told me the day i signed that i was getting no money for four weeks i am due to start a course soon whilst still under my sanction i am expected to get money from some where to get there also have money for lunch how is this possible i was told if i did not attend i would be sanctioned again

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