§ Earl Russell
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether the obligation under the Jobseekers Act 1995 on claimants to prove that they are actively seeking work carries a corresponding obligation on employers to acknowledge receipt of applications and their rejection where appropriate; and, if not, whether they take the view that there should be such obligation on employers. [HL4634]
§ Baroness Hollis of Heigham
As jobseekers are not required under the Jobseekers Act 1995 to provide written evidence that they are taking reasonable steps to obtain employment it is not necessary to place an obligation to provide written evidence on employers.
When a jobseeker makes a claim for jobseeker's allowance they agree the steps they will take to actively seek work. This is recorded on their jobseeker's agreement and reviewed on a regular basis. Jobseekers are advised to keep any evidence of applications and the steps they have taken, not only for their own records, but to enable further advice and assistance to be provided.
If any doubt arises about the action that a jobseeker is taking, they will be asked to provide additional evidence. If it appears that they are no longer actively seeking employment, a statement will be taken from them. The statement will include details of the steps they have taken, why they think these were the best steps to take, details of anything that restricted their jobseeking activities and an explanation of why the steps agreed on their jobseeker's agreement have not been followed. The personal adviser will also provide a statement explaining why they consider the steps taken to be inadequate.
These statements, together with the jobseeker's agreement and any other evidence supplied by the jobseeker, are then passed to an independent decision-maker. They will look at the evidence and make a decision regarding entitlement to jobseeker's allowance. If benefit is disallowed the jobseeker will be advised of their right to appeal.