Something similar happened to me once. I was on the dole but also on call for the Borough's library service. The library work was erratic but paid- and could have led to me being taken on full time. My foot was on the ladder. I was known and liked and if a full-time position had come up I'd have applied for it. The work was various. I could be dispatched anywhere in the borough to fill in at any of the libraries or museums- issuing books, putting them back on shelves, patrolling the picture gallery, selling things in the museum shop; it was quite good fun, though I hated having to operate the cash registers. The DHS wasn't happy with this arrangement. They wanted me either jobless or working full time because anything else fucked with their system. I forget the details, but in the end I gave up the library gig (with its prospects) and wound up as a cleaner.
I was a bit put out at the time. I'd have liked to have been given a little leeway- and treated as an individual not a statistic. Bureaucracy, huh? I hope the girl in the papers wins her case.