What is a right to work check?

Under UK law, all prospective employees need to prove that they have a right to work in the country, this means providing some sort of documentation. Employers will need to check that the worker is who they say they are and that they have the correct documentation to prove that they have permission to work in the UK. This is a right to work check. 

What are the temporary right-to-work checks? right to work checks

When the pandemic broke out, the already existent right-to-work checks had to be adapted according to the circumstances. As such, the Home Office put in place the right to work scheme as a temporary measure. This allows employers to do checks remotely by not having to see physical copies of right-to-work documents.  The scheme was due to close on 6th April 2022, but it has now been extended until 30th September 2022. However, from 6th April, new measures have been put in place.

How do I conduct right-to-work checks after 6th April 2022?

Those who hold Biometric Residence Cards, Biometric Residence Permits, and Frontier Worker Permits will only be allowed to show that they are permitted to work in the UK by using the online Home Office checking service. Employers will not be required to check physical documents, the online system must be used for this instead. 

How do I conduct right-to-work checks after 30th September 2022?

From 1st October 2022 employers will need to either use the online checking service or check physical (original) documents. 

How to do an online right-to-work check now

Step 1: The employee or future employee will go into the online service and check their Home Office right to work record.

Step 2: The employee uses their “share code” which is valid for 30 days to allow the employer to access their right to work record. The employer will need the code along with the individual’s date of birth to access the information. 

Step 3: The employer will use the share code and log into the Home Office checking service which will allow them to check the immigration status of a potential employee.

Step 4: The employer must verify that the photo of the individual is actually them on the online system.

Step 5: The employer should keep evidence of the right to work checks by saving the profile page of the employee from the online system. This information should be stored for the whole of the individual’s employment and for 2 years afterward.  

How do you verify someone’s identity online?right to work checks

You can validate a person’s identity online without having to see their original documentation (up until 30th September 2022) by arranging a video call with them. 

Step 1: Request scanned copies of ID documents and right to work proof via email or mobile.

Step 2: Arrange a video call and ask that the employee holds up their identification document on camera to prove that it is truly them and that the document is genuine. 

Step 3: Check that the document being shown on the video is the same as the one that has been sent to you.

Step 4: Write on your printed-out copy of the document “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19” ensuring that you put the date in which you held the video call and checked the document. 

Step 5: If the individual has a Biometric Residence Permit or Biometric Residence Card or has been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme or the points-based immigration system, the online checking service can be used to verify the document whilst on the video call with the employee’s permission. 

Which documents can be accepted to prove ID? 

The Home Office guidance explains which documents can be used to prove a person’s identity.

  • Passport
  • Birth or adoption certificates
  • Certificate showing British citizenship (certificate of registration or naturalization)
  • A UK visa

Do I need to do online checks on employees that started before 6th April 2022?

The new rules apply to employees that have been employed after 5th April 2022. Employers will not need to re-check people they have employed before then.  

What happens if an employee cannot provide proof?

In some cases, an employee may not be able to give you any documentation, this could be because they have an outstanding appeal or their visa application is with the Home Office being decided. Or, if they arrived in the UK before 1989 the chances are that they do not have up-to-date documentation to show their immigration status or right to work in the UK. right to work checks

In this case, you will need to use the Employer Checking Service to ask the Home Office if an individual has a right to work. You will need to provide the employee’s full name, date of birth, nationality, UK address, job title, the number of hours worked per week, and their Home Office reference number.

If they do have a right to work, the Home Office will send you a positive verification notice.

What are the consequences of not following correct right-to-work checks?

Section 15 of the Immigration, Asylum, and Nationality Act 2006 says that it is illegal to employ someone without the correct permission to work in the UK legally such as a valid visa. Businesses could receive civil penalties of up to £20,000 for this.

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