The COVID-concessionary modified right to work scheme which was temporarily introduced in March 2020 as a response to the Coronavirus pandemic is ending on 30th September 2022. This temporary scheme eased the obligation to physically check the right to work documents as a result of the work from home mandates from the UK government.
What does this mean?
From 1 October 2022 onwards, employers will need to re-introduce original document checks and returning to in-person checks. With many employees still working remotely, employers need to consider how this will be addressed. For some, third party Identity Service Providers (IDSPs) may provide a solution but significant limitations apply to this service.
Obligations from 1 October 2022
From 1 October 2022, in order to conduct a valid right to work check employers will need to:
do a manual document-based check by:
• obtaining an original document as per set by the UK government in Lists A and B;
• checking that the documents are genuine and that the person presenting them is the prospective employee or employee, the rightful holder and allowed to do the type of work the employer is offering; and
• making a clear copy of each document in a format which cannot manually be altered and retain the copy securely: electronically or in hardcopy. The employer must also retain a secure record of the date on which the employer made the check.
do an online check by:
• accessing the Home Office online portal service using the share code provided by the individual plus their date of birth;
• in the presence of the individual, checking that the photograph on the online right to work check is of the individual presenting themselves for work;
• retaining evidence of the online right to work check.
Please note that this is mandatory for individuals with a BRP (Biometric Residence Permit), BRC (Biometric Residence Card, FWP (frontier Work Permit) or e-visa.
engage the services of an Identity Service Provider (IDSP) – noting however that there are a number of important limitations to using such a service.
Carrying out these checks correctly is critical for employers. A failure to conduct valid right to work checks can incur significant civil financial liabilities of up to £20,000 per illegal worker as well as an impact on the employer’s sponsor licence (if applicable). Employers who knowingly employ (or have reasonable cause to believe they are employing) an illegal worker commit a criminal offence, the sanction for which is an unlimited fine and/or up to 5 years’ imprisonment.
- Code of practice on preventing illegal working (6 April 2022)
- Code of practice for employers: Avoiding unlawful discrimination while preventing illegal working (6 April 2022)
- Right to work checks: An employer’s guide (6 April 2022)
- Digital identity certification for right to work, right to rent and criminal record checks
- Home Office right to work portal
- Employer Checking Service portal
If you have any queries in relation to the ending of the modified right to work scheme, please contact a member of the team on 0333 2005153 or by completing the contact form
If you would like a copy of a Summary of types of potentially valid RTW checks for individuals which have different eligibility (E.g. British/Irish citizen with current valid passport, British/Irish citizen with no passport (either the passport has expired or the individual has never held passport), Individual with Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) etc) then complete the contact form for your FREE COPY!