UK Right to Work Checks are changing- what you must consider now

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UK Right to Work Checks are changing- what you must consider now
24
Aug

UK Right to Work Checks are changing- what you must consider now

There is currently a lot of ambiguity around automating Right to Work checks; we explain what is occurring, when it will happen, and what UK companies should consider right now.

Right to Work is a fundamental principle. However, the repercussions for doing it wrong are severe, posing a considerable concern not only to the HR department but also to the organisation as a whole.

Each business, no matter how large or small it looks, must ensure that every employee has the legal right to work in the UK. This must be done before that individual begins working and failing to do so may result in fines of up to £20,000 per employee, as well as reputational harm if that person is proven to be an unlawful migrant.

It may appear simple and uncomplicated, but the regulations are changing again, so it is easy to make mistakes.

Changes in Right to Work Legislation

The Home Office introduced its online Right to Work Checking Service in April 2018. This enables companies to undertake online right-to-work checks on qualified employees.

All other right-to-work checks, therefore, must be done in person, including for UK and Irish nationals, who make up the great bulk of those seeking work in the UK.

Employers were unable to do Right to Work checks in person when the COVID-19 Pandemic made face-to-face meetings difficult. To address this issue and allow firms to continue employing, the government issued a temporary exception that allows employers to capture an 'adjusted COVID-19' verification remotely through teleconference. While this was successful, it raised the possibility of falsified documents being utilised.

To reduce this risk while retaining the benefits of a digital solution, companies will need to do their Right to Work checks in person beginning October 1, 2022, or put in place acceptable alternative procedures and systems with an IDSP.

In brief, an IDSP is a licenced identification document validation technology service provider who performs digital identity checks on behalf of the employer for persons who are not eligible to utilise the Home Office online services.

An IDSP's verification procedure will remotely check the applicant's identification and documentation. Initially, the verification method will only apply to British and Irish people, covering most of the Right to Work checks.

How do you identify an eligible IDSP?

The UK Accreditation IDSP services by the end of May 2022. Certification is projected to take 8-12 weeks (about 3 months), which means that very few IDSPs have completed or are likely to be finished by 1 October.

It is envisaged that lists of certified IDSPs would be published on the Government's website as well as the website of their respective certifying organisation. IDSPs will, of course, be able to present proof of accreditation.

What is the significance of all these changes?

Businesses who deal with an IDSP will be able to do remote Right to Work checks on candidates with a valid UK or Irish passport. Employers will be able to conduct their checks on a video chat for non-UK and Irish citizens who are eligible to utilise the Home Office's Online Right to Work Checking service. There will be a limited number of instances where an employer must personally verify an employee's Right to Work.

Employers must not treat less fairly people who do not own a valid passport or do not desire to establish their identification via an IDSP,' according to Home Office Guidance. In these cases, you must provide individuals with other methods of proving their right to work and conduct a manual document-based right to work check.

The crucial element for companies to remember is that if they wish to continue doing Right to Work checks remotely, they must hire an IDSP. Otherwise, they will have to complete all of their checks in person. Employers must also guarantee that all checks are kept up to date and legitimate.

What must employers do?

Employers are not forced to utilise a certified IDSP; instead, they must be satisfied that their selected solution provider can perform the appropriate checks.

The changes in legislation are expected to take effect in around two months. This implies that companies have about a month to recruit an IDSP and about a month to install their technology and processes to guarantee the relevant checks are accomplished. Alternatively, they must conduct their Right to Work checks in person.

Employers may use Complygate Background checks to ensure that all needed checks are done and that they are in accordance with the most recent UK regulations.

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