If you’re an employer, it’s important to keep up to date with changes to Right to Work rules and processes. Another change is on the horizon, with the government ending its temporary adjustments to Right to Work checks on 30th September 2022.
We’ll run through everything you need to know here, starting with a brief look for new employers at what Right to Work checks actually are.
What is Right to Work?
In the UK, it’s a legal requirement for employers of businesses of all sizes to check that each person they employ has the right to work in the UK. This must be done before the person starts work and requires a number of documents to be submitted and checked. Employers can be fined up to £20,000 per employee if they don’t meet their obligations.
Covid-19 changes to the rules
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK Government Home Office made a major change to its rules for Right to Work checks.
The original legislation required employers of all UK and Irish nationals to carry out Right to Work checks in in person. Online checks could be carried out online for EE, EEA or Swiss nationals.
But during the pandemic and multiple lockdowns, these checks couldn’t safely be carried out in person. To enable companies to keep on hiring, the Government introduced a temporary easement on this in-person requirement. Employers could instead do an ‘adjusted Covid-19 check’ with new hires remotely via video calls.
What’s happening on 30th September 2022?
It was recently announced that this temporary easement will end on 30th September 2022.
But instead of reverting to the previous system, the Government aims to keep the benefits of the digital solution. This worked well during the pandemic, but there were concerns raised over the risk of fraudulent documents being used to verify worker identities.
In order to mitigate this risk, the Home Office will require employers to use a certified identification document validation service provider (IDSP). This is a specialist company providing digital identity checks on behalf of employers. It will validate documents and the identity of British and Irish workers remotely.
What do I need to do now as an employer?
You’ll need to use a certified body to find companies offering IDSP services. The Government has published a list of these bodies (there are six in total) along with Right to Work guidance for employers on its website.
New companies may be added, but the process of certification is estimated to take around 8-12 weeks. This means that there may only be limited options by the time the 30th September deadline comes around.
So, if you want to carry out Right to Work checks remotely, you’ll need to secure the services of an IDSP as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may have to carry out checks in person, as before.
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