Please note that benefits / legal information can change frequently and if relying on information it is important to check it is up-to-date. The information on this page is current when we post it but we are all volunteers and we cannot guarantee our efforts to keep the page up-to-date are always successful. Please look out for the notices stating when the page / section was last updated and double-check anything important for your situation. Sources for current info include our Links page.

The Universal Jobmatch website no longer exists. The DWP replaced it with a new one called ‘Find a job’ in April 2018. Many of the UJ rules & regulations apply to the new FaJ site but certain things have changed. Alongside the replacement of UJ is the implementation of a UC account which contains an online journal (or digital journal) that all UC claimants are expected to use.

If you have any experience with this system or problems you’d like to share, please get in touch. ECAP can both publicise useful information about what is going on and how to deal with it as well as give help to those who are having problems.

Do I Have to Create a Universal Jobmatch Account?

UJM advice leaflet 1
UJM advice leaflet 2

The Jobcentre adviser has no power to just tell you that you have to create a Universal Jobmatch account. Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty have supported several unemployed claimants who have successfully declined to create a Universal Jobmatch account, without suffering any sanctions.

You can only be forced to create a Universal Jobmatch account if Jobcentre Plus issue you with a written Jobseeker’s Direction –without such a written instruction they cannot force you onto Universal Jobmatch and they cannot sanction you.

Before a jobcentre adviser can issue a Jobseeker’s Direction forcing you to create a Universal Jobmatch account, they have to consider if it would be appropriate in your circumstances. For example if English is your second language or if you have difficulty with literacy then it may not be reasonable to issue such a Jobseeker’s Direction. The adviser must consider the following questions:

1. Do you have a health related condition?

2. Is English a second language?

3. Do you have a problem with literacy and/or numeracy?

4. You do not have a computer or internet access device (IAD) OR cannot afford to access the internet?

5. You live in area with poor internet service?

6. You do not have reasonable access to a computer?

7. Does your jobcentre have a computer you can use?

8. You have a computer or internet access device (IAD) but wish to exercise your right not to allow cookies?


A Jobseeker’s Direction only applies to a jobcentre computer, you cannot be forced to create the Universal Jobmatch account on YOUR own computer.  SEE 8 ABOVE

If you do create a Universal Jobmatch account, make sure you do not tick the box consenting to Jobcentre Plus accessing your account. That way you can prevent the Jobcentre from checking your online job search activity.

Due to data protection legislation your jobcentre adviser cannot issue a Jobseeker’s Direction allowing them to access and view your Universal Jobmatch account.

If you have already created a Universal Jobmatch account the DWP have confirmed you can revoke consent by un-ticking the above boxes at any time, via your Account Profile

You can also shut down your Universal Jobmatch account completely – though if you were instructed to create the account via a Jobseeker’s Direction this may lead to a sanction. The DWP have stated “if you wish to completely close down your UJ account you will need to use the Contact Us facility within the service and ask for your account to be terminated”.

Can a Work Coach demand that I present my work search evidence in a specific way i.e. the way that they demand it in (including listing the websites where jobs were found) and will failing to write this information in the ‘My Work Plan’ (WS1 booklet) result in a benefit sanction (this is even though I’ve met the required jobs to apply for in my Claimant Commitment, just not listed the websites I used)?

For a detailed answer to this question please see this FOI request.

Essentially, the most important part of the FOI response is “claimants have the right to demonstrate what they have done to look for work through whichever means they deem suitable and most effective.”

Evidence is now appearing that there are  thousands of fake jobs on the  Universal Jobmatch site. This is a strong argument against being forced ro register for UJM by the Jobcentre.

To further strengthen the argument, the  site declares govt will NOT compensate users for any loss:

Section 5 – Disclaimer says:
“5.1 While we make every effort to keep the Universal Jobmatch website up
to date, we don’t provide any guarantees, conditions or warranties as to
the accuracy of the information on the site.

5.2 We don’t accept liability for loss or damage incurred by users of the
website, whether direct, indirect or consequential, whether caused by
tort, breach of contract or otherwise. This includes loss of:
– income or revenue
– business
– profits or contracts
– anticipated savings
– data
– goodwill
– tangible property
or wasted management or office time in connection with our site or in
connection with the use, inability to use, or results of the use of our
site, any websites linked to it and any materials posted on it. This
condition shall not prevent claims for loss of or damage to your tangible
property or any other claims for direct financial loss that are not
excluded by any of the categories set out above.”

For more information read online or download the DWP documents.

Universal Jobmatch – Your Rights (2013) – PDF

Universal Jobmatch – What you need to know about cookies – PDF  

Guide to DWP mandating JSA claimants to create a profile and public CV in Universal Jobmatch



For automated Job Searches click here

Call in at our drop-in support every Tuesday 12 – 3 pm at ACE


[last updated: May 2013]



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