Update: the end date for temporary adjusted Right to Work (RTW) checks (COVID adjustments) has now been deferred until 1st October 2022.
In their latest announcement on 27th December 2021, the Home Office have confirmed that employers will be able to perform right to work checks digitally from 6th April 2022.
Specifically, The Home Office and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) announced they are working alongside the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) to develop a UK Digital Identity and Attributes Trust Framework. This will allow employers to use certified identification document validation technology (IDVT) service providers to carry out right to work checks from 6th April 2022.
Why is this change happening?
When the COVID-19 pandemic begun, adjustments were made to right to work checks to allow employers to check ID documents online; temporarily eliminating the need for in-person checks. The aim is to allow employers to screen and onboard new employees whilst minimising exposure to the Coronavirus.
Despite its effectiveness, the Home Office planned to reintroduce in-person checks in April 2022. In response, many industry bodies and employers in the UK lobbied the UK Government to allow digital right to work checks permanently, which came to fruition on 27th December 2021.
As of 22nd February 2022, the Home Office have announced that temporary, COVID-adjusted right to work checks will be extended until 1st October 2022.
What changes to right to work checks will be happening?
Changes to Appendix E of the Employer right to work checks supporting guidance states employers will no longer be allowed to perform manual right to work checks using a physical Biometric Residence Card (BRC), Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), or Frontier Work Permit (FWP). Employers must have the individual’s date of birth and valid right to work share code, which must be generated by the candidate using the online right to work checking service.
British and Irish nationals will have the option to have their right to works conducted online. However, employers will need a subscription with a certified Identity Service Provider (IDSP).
The Home Office are currently in the process of preparing the IDSP and Identity Document Validation Technology (IDVT) accreditations for screening organisations. This means that from 6th April, there will be certified providers (including ourselves), which employers can engage with to conduct remote right to work checks on their behalf. With the extension of temporary, adjusted right to work checks, employers will now have more time to transition to digital checks and select a certified supplier.
What does this mean for in-person/manual right to work checks?
Until 1st October 2022, employers can still perform right to work checks as per the temporary COVID adjustments implemented in March 2020.
Following this, employers will still have the option to perform in-person right to work checks, but only for British and Irish nationals.
What do employers need to do from 6th April 2022?
It is recommended that employers seek a digital process before the COVID-adjustments to right to work checks end in October. This is based on the assumption that in-person checks may be abolished altogether long term.
It is also advised that employers incorporate a digital system that allows them to perform right to work checks compliantly (or face financial and legal repercussions). When seeking a new system, it is essential to look out for:
- Security accreditations (e.g., Cyber Essentials, ISO27001)
- Aiming towards IDSP/IDVT accreditation
- A user-friendly interface that employees can adopt quickly
- Functions that are capable, not only of right to work checks, but also DBS, credit, DVLA, sanctions, etc
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