Every employer, regardless of size, needs to check that every individual they employ has the right to work in the UK. This must be carried out before that person starts their employment, and failure to do so could result in fines of up to £20,000 per employee and potential reputational damage if that person is found to be an illegal worker.
It sounds simple, but with 200+ document combinations and ever-changing legislation, it’s an important process to get right.
Checking a candidate’s right to work
At present there are two key routes for checking a candidate’s right to work:
- In-person: An employer can request original copies of the following documents: passports, immigration status documents, birth or adoption certificates and certificates of naturalisation, to be verified during an in-person meeting.
- Remotely: An employer can check a person’s right to work by asking for a share code from the applicant so that they can prove their eligibility online via video call.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the government introduced digital ways for employers to check employee’s right to work in the UK because of the difficulties associated with manually checking documents. These arrangements end on 30th September.
Changes ahead from 1st October
New digital right to work checks, using ‘identification document validation technology’ (IDVT), became available for employees with valid British or Irish passports from 6th April 2022. Employers can use a ‘identity service provider’ (IDSP) to carry out this check, although they remain responsible for checking the identity of the employee and retaining the record for the duration of employment plus two years.
From 1st October, employers will need to either:
- Carry out a manual check by physically meeting with the employee to check and copy their original documentation.
- Appoint an ‘identification service provider’ (IDSP) to check the passport of the employee on their behalf or carry out the check themselves using ID document validation technology.
Key points to note: –
- If you wish to carry out right to work checks remotely after 1st October 2022 you should secure the services of an IDSP. Otherwise, you will need to revert to completing all checks in-person.
- Although it is not mandatory for employers to use a certified IDSP, you will need to be satisfied that the chosen solution provider can provide the required checks.
- Since there are less than two weeks until these changes to right work checks come into effect, employers should be aware that certification of IDSP takes approximately 8-12 weeks.
- Alternatively, they must revert to completing their right to work checks in person.
- Employers will also need to ensure that all checks are maintained and remain valid.
For more information and guidance on right to work checks - contact our expert Hertfordshire based HR team >>