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Right to work checks from 6 April 2022

Jan 20, 2022

From 6 April 2022, employers will no longer be able to carry out a manual right to work check on those who hold a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), Biometric Residence Card (BRC) or a Frontier Worker Permit (FWP). In order to establish a statutory excuse, employers must carry out an online right to work check for all checks that take place from this date onwards.

The introduction of new technology

Further to the above change, the Home Office has recently announced the introduction of the use of Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT), which is likely to come into force on 6 April 2022. This technology will allow British and Irish citizens who hold a valid passport (including Irish passport cards), to upload images of their personal documents via a certified IDSP to verify their identity remotely and prove their eligibility to work, instead of presenting physical documents for employers to conduct the right to work check on them.
This is good news for employers as the use of this technology will allow candidates such as British and Irish citizens who currently do not qualify to use the Home Office’s current online services, to establish their right to work remotely.

Whilst the information available on the new process remains limited, we will continue to check guidance from UK Visas and Immigration and provide further information as the same continues to be released. We can also provide more specific tailored advice to your business to ensure continued compliance.

Temporary right to work check

The current temporary checks as set out below are set to end on 5 April 2022:

  • Checks can 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
  • Employers can then arrange a video call, ask the worker to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents. Employers should record the date they 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 has been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme or the points-based immigration system, employers can use the online right to work checking service while doing the video call
  • Employers should use the Home Office Employer Checking Service if a prospective or existing employee cannot provide any of the accepted right to work check documents.

The importance of right to work checks

A right to work check is essential in order to establish a statutory defence against the imposition of a civil penalty for employing an illegal employee. Criminal penalties for hiring an illegal worker without a statutory defence can include a jail term of 5 years and/or an unlimited fine.

 

How can we assist

We keep our eyes on the Home Office guidance, which is regularly updated, and we are keen to keep employers informed of any changes relating to right to work in the UK including covid flexibility.

Have any questions? Please feel free to call us on tel: 01276 686 222 or submit a website enquiry and we shall get in touch.

This reflects the law at the date of publication and is written as a general guide. It does not contain definitive legal advice, which should be sought as appropriate in relation to a particular matter.

Usof Shah

Usof Shah

Senior Immigration Advisor

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