On 17th January 2022 the Home Office updated their right to work guidance. The key changes are set out below:
Currently and up to 5th April 2022, employers have the option of conducting a right to work check of Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), Biometric Residence Card (BRC) or a Frontier Worker Permit (FWP) holders either by using the Home Office online service, their physical documents or scanned documents (see adjusted checks below) to evidence their right to work.
From 6th April 2022, employers will no longer be able to carry out a physical right to work check on those who hold one of these documents. From this point onwards in order to establish a statutory excuse against a civil penalty, employers must carry out an online right to work check.
It should be noted that retrospective checks will not be required if employers undertook a right to work check in line with the guidance in place up to 5th April 2022 – regardless of whether those checks were made on physical document or on-line.
Temporary Covid-19 adjusted right to work checks
The current “temporary” checks introduced on 30th March 2020 will remain in place until 5thApril 2022 following which, new guidance is expected to be published. As a reminder, adjusted checks can be undertaken in the following way:
- Checks can currently be carried out over video calls;
- Job applicants and existing workers can send scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than sending originals or
- Employers should use the Home Office Employer Checking Service if a prospective or existing employee cannot provide any of the accepted documents.
Until 5th April employers must:
- ask the worker to submit a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents via email or using a mobile app;
- arrange a video call with the worker – ask them to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents, record the date you made the check and mark it as “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”;
- if the worker has a current Biometric Residence Permit or Biometric Residence Card or has been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme or the points-based immigration system, you can use the online right to work checking service while doing a video call – the applicant must give you permission to view their details.
Implementation of Identity Document Validation Technology in the Right to Work (and Rent) scheme
On 27th December last year, the Home Office announced the introduction of Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT), which will come into force on 6th April 2022 to coincide with the above changes. As a result, the Home Office will enable employers (and landlords) to use certified (IDVT) service providers to carry out digital identity checks on their behalf for many who are not in scope to use the Home Office online services including British and Irish citizens. The design of this new technology and the underlying “outsourced” process is aimed at supporting long-term post pandemic work practices, streamline recruitment processes and enhance security of checks. Where employers utilise IDVT Service providers, the employer becomes a “relying party” in this relationship.
To ensure compliance and for best practice, it is important for all sponsoring employers to ensure that valid Right To Work checks are conducted. Contact us if you require more information or would like guidance on any UK immigration matters.