On 6 April 2022, the Home Office published the final form of the “Employer’s guide to right to work checks”. The purpose of the guidance is to set out how and when an employer can conduct a right to work check. In doing this it explains specific actions that an employer can take to prevent liability for a civil penalty.
The significant updates to the guidance include the changes and further guidance on the digital identity verification and the extension to the Covid-19 temporary adjusted right to work checks. We have looked into these in more detail below.
Digital Identity Verification
The guidance has been updated to enable employers to use Identity Service Providers (IDSPs) to carry out digital identity verification as part of a right to work check. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Identity Document Validation Technology (IDVTs) were temporarily used to carry out right to work checks remotely when face-to-face, in person checks were not possible. On the whole, the digital process received positive feedback as it helped to fast-track the recruitment process whilst still ensuring that the proper checks were thoroughly performed.
Although this can be seen as a positive change for most employers, it is pertinent that they use IDSPs that are a certified provider and that they provide appropriate training and guidance to their staff on the information that they must obtain to confirm verification of identity in order for the process to work effectively.
Covid-19 adjusted checks extension
As explained above, the use of IDVT temporarily during the Covid-19 pandemic was viewed as a success. As a result, the Home Office have decided to extend the use of IDVTs to carry out digital checks on behalf of British and Irish citizens (who hold a valid passport or Irish passport card) to 30 September 2022. This ensures that the right to work scheme supports employers to implement post-pandemic working practices and that it provides employers with enough time to put face-to-face document checks in place, should they wish.
It is advised that employers do not need to carry out retrospective checks on employees who had a Covid-19 adjusted checked between 30 March 2020 and 30 September 2022 (inclusive).
If you would like to read to read the guidance in full, please click this link.