• Right to work checks are carried out by businesses to prevent illegal working.

    As well as maintaining compliance, employers who follow the relevant Home Office guidance, along with the relevant codes of practice, will have a statutory excuse against liability for a civil penalty in the event of illegal working.

    Although the concept of right to work checks is not new, there are several changes coming up this April which if you are an employer, you should be aware of.

    Identity Document Validation Technology

    On 27 December 2021, the Home Office announced the implementation of a new Identity Document Validation Technology (IDVT) process. This is due to take effect from 6 April 2022.

    The move has been brought about following positive feedback on conducting right to work checks remotely during the pandemic under temporary rules. It also takes into account  the changing nature of the working environment and move towards hybrid and remote working for many.

    The changes will enable employers to use certified IDVT service providers to carry our digital identity checks on their behalf.

    The latest guidance on right to work checks can be found in An employer’s guide to right to work checks: 17 January 2022.’ This guidance sets out the rules and standards to verify a person’s identity and eligibility, for processing right to work checks in order to obtain a statutory excusive against liability for a civil penalty. Annex F of this document deals with the use of IDVT.

    Businesses should be aware that only specified documents will be accepted to be verified in this way and these, according to the guidance, include valid British passports, valid Irish passports and valid Irish passport cards. You, as the employer, will therefore need to conduct manual or online checks for other documentation.

    At the moment, the suggestion appears to be that the use of IDVT will be optional rather than mandatory.

    Biometric card holders

    From 6 April 2022, changes are also being made for those that hold a Biometric Residence Card, Biometric Residence Permit or Frontier Worker Permit.

    From this date, the holders of these will evidence their right to work using the Home Office online service only. It will not be acceptable to undertake manual checks in these cases. Appendix E of the above referenced guide contains further information on this.

    What to do now

    Until 6 April 2022, you should continue with checks in accordance with current guidance.

    There are temporary adjusted checks currently in place as a result of the pandemic which have been extended to 30 September 2022. There will therefore be a period where both these rules and the changes discussed above will be in place.

    If as an employer you haven’t already got a right to work policy, we recommend that now is a good time to consider implementing one.

    If you do have a policy in place, it is important to ensure this is up to date and that linked policies, such as policies on recruitment, equal opportunities and data protection/retention are also up to date and consistent.

    Further support

    If you require guidance on the issues covered in this article, book a free 30-minute consultation with a member of our Employment team today, at a time that suits you.

    This content is correct at time of publication

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