After the 30 September, 2022 UK employers will no longer be able to complete adjusted right-to-work checks with prospective employees by checking scanned documentation during video calls between employer and potential employee. That’s because the Home Office COVID-19-related concessions end on that date.
After 1 October 2022 right-to-work checks can only be conducted in 1 of 3 ways: (1) online checks using the Home Office service, (2) using an identification service provider (IDSP) who will utilise identity document validation technology (IDVT) to validate a person’s right to work, or (3) manually checking original documents in the presence of the employee.
The type of right-to-work checks your company needs to complete depends on the immigration status of the potential employee. For example, if the employee has a biometric residence permit a Home Office online check should be used. If you intend to carry out manual right-to-work checks it is essential that you only check documents that are listed as acceptable evidence and you retain copies.
If it is later discovered that your employee did not have the right to work in the UK, and the right-to-work check you carried out was not fully compliant with the applicable rules at the time the check was undertaken, you will not be protected with a ‘statutory excuse’ from being in breach of the illegal working legislation. The penalties for employing a worker who does not have the right to work in the UK include a potential fine of up to £20,000 per illegal worker. If you hold a sponsor licence to sponsor overseas workers you also risk your business having its sponsor licence suspended or revoked.
The new right-to-work check rules are not retrospective but we recommend that employers review their existing right-to-work check procedures, so they are ready for rule changes from 1 October 2022.
Business Immigration solicitor Rashid Uzzaman commented:
The intention behind the changes have been universally welcomed, this is because the new process is designed to make the checking process much quicker and offer the employer a choice. However, the quick succession of changes and numerous additions to the checking process is causing HR departments unnecessary confusion for a process that had until recently been quite easy to understand.
If employers are worried about their checking or onboarding processes, we have a team of solicitors that can assess your existing HR systems and advise on changes that should be made.