As from the 1st October 2022 the rules for checking someone’s right to work in the UK are changing. The pandemic required us all to re-evaluate how certain procedures were carried out and face to face checks were not always possible so remote checks were introduced for British/Irish Nationals. This allowed the employee to send copies of their ID documents by email and for the employer to carry out the check via video link.
New digital right to work checks, using ‘identification document validation technology’ (IDVT), became available for employees with valid British or Irish passports from 6 April 2022. Employers can use an ‘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.
What is an IDSP?
An IDSP is a government certified provider that will verify the documents using Identification Verification Technology (IDVT) and is to be used for British/Irish Nationals only with valid, in date passports. This will be an outsourced method with varying charges and although not mandatory, will provide assurance that the check meets relevant scheme guidance and standards. Employers are still expected to obtain, copy and retain the documentation, despite having it verified by an IDSP.
From 1 October 2022, employers will need to either:
- Carry out a manual check by physically meeting with the employee to check and copy their original documentation. This was the practice prior to the Covid pandemic and will continue to be as such for in person checks.
- Where checks are to be carried out digitally / not in person, the organisation must appoint an ‘identification service provider’ (IDSP) to check the passport of the employee on behalf of the employer.
When conducting a manual right to work check, the following steps must be taken:
Step 1: Obtain original versions of one or more of the acceptable documents.
Step 2: Check the original documents in the presence of the holder of the documents.
Step 3: Make copies of the documents, retain copies and on the retained copy, record that the document is a copy of the original seen, record the date on which the check is made and it must be signed by the person doing the check to make it compliant.
Businesses are also advised to ensure they do their own Right to Work Checks on agency workers, to remove any concerns regarding illegal workers and potential fines.
Online right to work checks
If an applicant is from outside the UK, they may have an immigration status that can be checked online, such as an eVisa, biometric residence card (BRC), biometric residence permit (BRP), or Frontier Work Permit (FWP). Immigration status checks can be made by using the government’s Home Office online service.
Civil penalties may apply if Right to Work checks are not carried in accordance with the new provisions and a business is found to have employed an illegal worker.
For further information on the new guidance for right to work checks, please contact us here.