Right to work checks are an established component of UK employers and recruiters’ duties, with businesses having to meet various legal obligations to comply with legislation governing the prevention of illegal working.
These checks have undergone several developments and changes over the years. Most recently the flexibility given to accommodate the changes in working practices over the Covid period. A transitional process was introduced that allowed documents to be checked remotely over an online video call. As of 1 October 2022 that flexibility is coming to an end and the law surrounding Right to Work checks changes, make sure you are prepared and don’t get caught out.
What has Changed:
Before an employee commences employment, the employer must do one of the following:
- Complete and in person manual check viewing the original documents in presence of the potential employee.
- Use the Home Office online checking service for non UK residents here
- Check using an accredited provider of Identification Documentation Validation Technology (IDVT/IDSPs)
The government website check list details the process out in 3 clear steps
While it has always been a requirement to obtain, check and keep documents the difference now is that checks via video call will no longer establish a statutory excuse. Furthermore, the storage of such sensitive information needs to be carefully considered and managed.
Why is it important?
Aside from the ethical responsibility on any employer and recruiter in ensuring that the correct right to work checks are made, there is a significant legal obligation too. Employers could face penalties of up to £20,000 if they are found to be employing someone that is not legally allowed to work in the UK. If the employer knows, or ought to know, that the individual does not have the right to work they can also face criminal sanctions.
It is vital that a right to work check is made that meets the Home Office’s requirements, set out here. This will give employers a statutory excuse, the ability to defend themselves, should the employee be later found to not have the right to work. The documentation demonstrating that valid right to work checks have been performed should be kept securely for the duration of the employment and for two years afterwards.
How we can help
As a recruiter of temporary and permanent staff across the Thames Valley we have been reviewing our procedures in anticipation of this change and putting steps in place well ahead of the change date. We have made sure that Bucks and Berks Recruitment and our clients can confidently meet the new legal requirements. We use an accredited provider to run all our checks. Our candidates will not start a temporary booking or go on an interview without having had this check. A process that takes place via an app and is easy to download and navigate for the candidates. All the documentation is kept within the secure portal, so accessible to us, but secure and safe for the candidates.
Let us know if you have any questions or need help with your recruitment plans