Not only must employers follow the guidance set out for right to work checks (which came into effect on 1st July 2021), but they must amend internal processes to maintain compliance.
Here is a summary of the recent right to work check changes:
- EEA nationals now require valid permission to reside and work in the UK
- Changes have been made to ID checking guidelines, including what appears on the ‘acceptable document list’. This includes:
- Frontier Worker Permits, which have been added to List B
- Various documents relating to family members of EEA nationals have been removed from List A and B
- EEA and Swiss passports/national ID cards no longer demonstrate right to work in the UK
- Ireland is the exception to this rule. Irish passports and ID cards have been added to List A
- Physical right to work checks will return on 1st September 2021 (although this is expected to change)
- Transitional measures have been put in place until 31st December 2021 for employees employed before 30th June 2021, but failed to apply under the EUSS by this date
To maintain compliance, we have detailed what employers must do below:
Policies and procedures from 1st July 2021
All your policies and procedures need to be updated and staff made aware of all right to work check changes.
Inform EEA and Swiss staff of transitional measures
Some of your existing EEA and Swiss employees may need to take advantage of the transitional measure the Home Office have implemented. You do not need to carry out retrospective right to work checks on any EU nationals employed during the grace period. However, you can choose to do this if you wish. But do note, you must not run retrospective checks in a discriminatory way.
Ensure employees are aware of online right to work check facilities
Your employees may run right to work checks manually now, but you should note that the Home Office are increasingly moving towards online checks.
Therefore, you must advise your staff on how to conduct online right to work checks using the Employer Checking Service. Also, you must keep abreast of further changes from the Home Office regarding digital right to work checks.
Employing EEA nationals after 1st July 2021
You should not employ EEA nationals after the 1st July 2021 if they:
- Have not applied to the EUSS by the deadline
- Cannot demonstrate alternative immigration status in the UK
- Do not meet the requirements for sponsorship under the points-based immigration system
It is your duty to ensure you do not discriminate on new starters or existing employees. Therefore, make sure considerations of immigration status are applied at the same stage of the recruitment process for all applicants.
Physical right to work checks will return on 1st September 2021 (but this might change)
The COVID-19 allowances for right to work checks have been extended and will now expire on 31st August 2021 (see our previous article here).
However, there have been two delays to this return and it is expected that this will be delayed again, or the Home Office will move to digital right to work checks permanently.
For now, right to work checks can be performed by obtaining photographs/scans of the documents, checking them via video call with the individual, copying them and recording the date/the fact that an altered right to work check has been carried out.
Remind employees to apply for settled status
You must log the earliest date for which employees with pre-settled status can become eligible for settled status.
It is your duty to remind employees to make settled status applications once eligible.
The importance of maintaining compliance
With these changes in mind, it is of the utmost important that you follow the guidelines in order to maintain compliance.
However, there is also the challenge of performing complaint right to work checks alongside other vital checks; including DBS checks, credit checks, sanctions, etc.
There is software available that can save time, money, and other resources; all whilst helping you maintain compliance. Employment Check Pro, contains 100s of functions which has helped our clients manage these processes (amongst other tasks).
Pro is designed to help you with specific compliance or referencing background check requirements.
If you are interested in how Employment Check Pro can benefit your organisation, please complete the form below or visit https://ebcglobal.co.uk/pro/ to learn more.
You can view the full summary of changes here: Employer right to work checks supporting guidance
In addition, the following information will be useful: