Vacancies: Fraud

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 6th September 2013.

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Photo of Bob Russell Bob Russell Liberal Democrat, Colchester

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department is taking to tackle sham job advertisements.

Photo of Mark Hoban Mark Hoban The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) takes approximately 4 million job vacancies from about 330,000 employers every year. During the period January 2013 to August 2013, 312 employer accounts were identified as inappropriate and closed. Although a relatively small percentage of the total number of vacancies handled, the Department regards any infiltration of its services as a serious matter and takes immediate steps to minimise adverse impact to jobseekers.

Since 19 November 2012 DWP has operated Universal Jobmatch, an online self service job posting and matching service for both employer/recruiters and jobseekers. Before using the service all employers must confirm that the jobs they advertise are genuine.

The service proactively identifies potentially inappropriate job advertisements by checking for known IP addresses (through specific computer recognition) and email domains that are linked to this activity. Searches are also undertaken to identify particular words/phrases to eliminate potentially improper access.

Where it is known that Universal Jobmatch has been directly targeted, the offending job advert is removed immediately. In cases where DWP establish evidence that jobseekers have been matched to potentially spurious jobs, immediate action is taken to alert the Jobseeker not to proceed further with the job application. DWP has also worked with police authorities to support the pursuit of criminal proceedings.

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