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Changes to Right To Work Checks

New legislation and guidance will come into force on 6 April 2022 which amends the way that employers are able to carry out the right to work checks required to ensure that their employees, or prospective employees, have the right to work in the UK.

Employers will be able to digitally verify the identities of British and Irish citizens using an identification document validation technology (“IDVT”) service provider. The employer will need to obtain a clear copy of the IDVT check and copy of the document against which the check was carried out, in an unalterable format. The employer must be satisfied that the photograph in the completed IDVT check is the employee and must also retain the clear copy of the IDVT check and documents checked for at least two years after the employee’s employment has ended.

The option to carry out digital checks may be a helpful step forward, particularly for large or multi-site employers where carrying out manual checks takes significant time and resource. It may also be a natural transition for any employers who have benefited from carrying out ‘remote’ right to work checks during the COVID-19 pandemic. The temporary adjustments which allow for checks to be carried out via video call, will end on 30 September 2022. After this date, employers will need to either revert back to carrying out manual checks or consider using the IDVT service.

The cost of using an IDVT service may not be accessible to all employers. At present, there are no plans to make this the only way of carrying out the checks and employers are able to continue carrying out manual checks for most employees, if preferred.

The new regulations, also remove a number of documents from the list of acceptable documents for right to work checks. The most significant is the removal of biometric cards. From 6 April 2022, employers will no longer be able to carry out manual right to work checks for individuals who hold a biometric card and these checks will have to be carried out via the government’s employer checking service. There is no cost for using this service. Employers who previously carried out a manual right to work check (prior to 6 April 2022) will not be required to carry out a retrospective check.

For more information or advice on this issue, please contact one of our specialist employment lawyers directly. Alternatively you can call 0115 9 100 200 or click here to send an email.

Posted on March 29, 2022

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