Today I attended my local Jobcentre for a compliance interview, at 12.30. When I arrived they had no record of the appointment, but after a while I was escorted to the interview room to wait outside. On being called in I said to the interviewer that I wished to record the interview. She refused. I said I had a right to record the interview, she said I did not. I said in that case please tell me what the interview is about and I will come back to be interviewed again after she checked the rules.
She did tell me that they had received an anonymous report that I was fit to work because I “played word games” and ran a website. That is a reference to my word game app möbius word, presumably. I asked to speak to the manager but was told there was no manager. So I left.
Here is the DWP guidance on recording interviews, provided in response to a Freedom of Information Act request:
Claimants may seek to record a telephone conversation or an interview with DWP either openly or covertly using digital recording devices such as cameras, microphones and mobile phones. There are a number of reasons why the Department should stop this happening in open plan public spaces. Jobcentre Plus has particular guidance on this here.
A key concern is that if the claimant is visiting DWP premises such as a Jobcentre, and is using, or intends to use, their recording equipment, in an open plan area they could record other claimants’ personal information. This is not acceptable.
If the claimant insists on recording their interview, a private interview room must be used. Where such a facility is not available on site and no other solution is possible, arrangements to use an alternative Jobcentre Plus