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Further changes to right to work guidance – important information for employers

From tomorrow, 6 April 2022, a new system of online right to work checks will replace the temporary measures set up during the pandemic

What does this mean for employers?

From this date on, employers will, in most cases, be left with two choices – either check a worker’s right to work documents manually, for nothing, or pay to use a new online service.

It will no longer be acceptable to conduct right to work checks using the temporary Covid-adjusted procedures introduced in March 2020.

These well-received measures allowed employers to conveniently carry out checks via video call after job applicants had submitted scanned copies of their original documents via email or mobile app.

How will the online checks work?

There are two different ways in which online checks can be completed. Employers can use:

  • The Home Office online checking service, however, this is only available for the minority of prospective recruits and is not an option for UK nationals;
  • Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT), a new and optional system which verifies a worker’s identity remotely after checking images of the personal documents they have submitted.

What will it cost employers?

It looks as if there will be a fee to use IDVT of between £1.45 to £70 per check with the cost passed on to employers.

Otherwise, conducting a right to work check remains free.

What’s happening with Biometric Residence Cards and Permits?

These can no longer be presented as evidence of the right to work in the UK so can’t be manually verified by employers.

However, it will be possible to use the Home Office online service to check someone’s right to work in the UK by obtaining a ‘share code’.

Will employers have to carry out retrospective online checks on workers employed since March 2020?

No. Any employer who carried out compliant right to work checks, including Biometric Residence Permits and Cards, before or on 5 April 2022, will not need to re-do them using an online method.

What should employers do now?

As always, it’s vital to undertake compliant right to work checks before any new employee starts work and before any existing employee’s immigration permission expires.

Keeping all the correct paperwork to prove the necessary checks have been carried out is also vital as potential penalties for non-compliance remain the same – civil penalties of up to £20,000 per illegal worker and unlimited fines for criminal penalties and up to five years in prison.

Any new or follow-up right to work checks carried out on or after 6 April must comply with the new guidance so amending employment processes and checklists immediately is a must.

Get in touch

For help and more information about right to work checks, please contact Wards Solicitors’ specialist employment disputes lawyer, Laura Ramos.

Phone: 0117 929 2811

Email: Laura.Ramos@wards.uk.com

 

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