Updated Guidance on Right to Work Checks

The updated guidance on right to work checks shows there will be many upcoming changes that employers need to prepare for.

The most notable changes are:

  • End date of Coronavirus (COVID-19) adjusted right to work checks
  • The introduction of IDSP and IDVT
  • Digital right to work checks for British and Irish nationals

Failure to keep abreast of these changes can lead to legal repercussions, including imprisonment and hefty fines.

Following conversations with our clients, we answer pressing questions regarding the updated guidance and what these changes mean for you and your organisation.

When did The Home Office announce the extension of Coronavirus (COVID-19) right to work checks?

The Home Office announced the extension to Coronavirus (COVID-19) right to work checks on 22nd February 2022.

When do the temporary adjustments end?

Adjusted Coronavirus (COVID-19) right to work checks will end on 30th September 2022.

Will I need to carry out retrospective checks?

You will not need to carry out retrospective checks on individuals who had a COVID-19 adjusted check between 30th March 2020 and 30th September 2022.

Will I maintain a defence against a civil penalty of the check was undertaken between 30th March 2020 and 30th September 2022?

Yes, providing the checks were undertaken as set out in the COVID-19 adjusted checks guidance.

How does this affect the introduction of digital right to work checks from 6th April 2022?

The Home Office are still planning to introduce digital right to work checks from 6th April 2022, using Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT).

What is IDVT?

Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT) is a form of technology that enables users to establish the authenticity of documents provided for identity verification (e.g., a passport).

Can my company use IDVT for all digital right to work checks?

For digital right to work checks in the UK, IDVT will only be applicable to individuals with a valid British or Irish passport (including Irish passport cards).

Individuals with a UKVI account, biometric residence permit (BRP), or status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) must provide a share code to employers, who can check their right to work via the online right to work check service.

What does the updated guidance say regarding IDVT?

The updated guidance confirms there will be more than one provider of IDVT.

Employers that choose to use IDVT can use the extension period to develop commercial relationships with an IDVT provider. In addition, this period will allow employers to change their existing pre-employment check process and onboard the provider.

Does the updated guidance state that my organisation has to use an IDVT provider for right to work checks?

Employers will have the choice to implement an IDSP (Identity Service Provider) to provide IDVT for identity verification or stay with in-person right to work checks.

What is an IDSP?

An IDSP (Identity Service Provider) is an approved company that is responsible for validating the identity of job candidates and existing employees on behalf of the employer. IDSPs will be required to follow an ‘identity checking’ process, which includes obtaining evidence of the claimed identity (uploading a copy of the passport or passport card) and then checking:

  • The evidence is valid or genuine
  • The claimed identity has existed over time
  • If the claimed identity is at high risk of identity fraud
  • Checking the identity belongs to the person claiming it

Will manual right to work checks be eliminated altogether?

It will not be possible to eliminate manual right to work checks completely unless the scope of IDVT is expanded. It is recommended that employers devise and implement an adequate and fully compliant manual right to work check process to use from 1st October 2022.

Will organisations be allowed to run identity verification via a video call from 1st October 2022?

No. From 1st October 2022, employers must be in possession of the candidate/employee’s original documents for a manual right to work check.

How can I run manual right to work checks if all my employees work remotely?

You can’t unless your candidate or existing employee agrees to meet you in person. For organisations with a remote or hybrid work force, it is recommended to implement a commercial relationship with an IDVT provider to run digital right to work checks securely and conveniently.

What happens if my company does not have a compliant right to work check process in time?

Those who employ someone who is found not to have the right to work in the UK can face a fine of up to £20,000 per illegal worker. This also includes an unlimited fine and 5 year imprisonment.

The Government website discuss this in more detail here: https://www.gov.uk/penalties-for-employing-illegal-workers

If my company go down the IDVT route, what do I need to look for in a provider?

At this time, The Home Office are in the process of preparing IDVT and IDSP (Identity Service Provider) accreditations for screening organisations.

This means that from 6th April 2022, there will be certified providers (including us), 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.

It is advised that employers also 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

EBC Global offer two platforms that can help. Visit https://ebcglobal.co.uk/ to learn more

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