Right to Work Checks have changed from April 2022

Posted on 24th May, 2022
, in UK 

Estimated reading time 4 minutes

In March 2020 Right to Work checks in the UK were temporarily adjusted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was to make it easier for employers to carry out checks.

Temporary changes

The following temporary changes were made:
  • checks could be carried out over video calls
  • job applicants and existing workers could send scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than sending originals
  • employers could use the Employer Checking Service if a prospective or existing employee could not provide any of the accepted documents
However, on the 6 April 2022 these temporary measures came to an end and the Home Office announced changes to Right to Work checks, issuing new guidance - the full draft guide can be found here.

New guidance

A business must conduct checks before employing someone. If a person’s right to work is also time-limited, a follow-up check shortly before it is due to come to an end should be conducted. It is essential that the HR department has compliant processes while ensuring they are not discriminatory, and appropriate copies are being kept of all relevant documents and dates recorded for further checks and actions.

How to carry out a Right to Work check

You can carry out a Right to Work check in one of the following ways:
  • A manual right to work check, using accepted documents as listed in the guidance
  • A right to work check using Identity Document Validation Technology (IDVT)
  • A Home Office online right to work check, where the where the prospective employee provides a code that can be used with the Home Office service
Documents you can use to carry out a right-to-work check are set out in full in the guidance. These lists have been changed and Biometric Residence Permits and other documents are no longer accepted. The documents used must be originals and copies should be made and retained.

Penalties for employing illegal workers

You can be penalized if you employ someone who does not have the right to work and you did not carry out the correct checks.
  • You might have to pay a civil penalty of up to £20,000 for each illegal worker.
  • Your business’s details may be published by Immigration Enforcement as a warning to other businesses not to employ illegal workers.
  • If you hold a Sponsor License, that would be revoked, and it is unlikely you could employ overseas workers in the future.
  • You can be sent to prison for up to 5 years and pay an unlimited fine if you are found guilty of employing someone who you knew or had ‘reasonable cause to believe’ did not have the right to work in the UK.

For help and support

Contact us to find out more about our business immigration services and for expert advice in conducting an audit of your current processes and advising on what is required for compliance with the new Home Office regulations. This article was produced by Jonathan Martin, Partner, at Abbiss Cadres, England, UK, a CELIA Alliance member firm. For further information or if you have any queries relating to the content of this communication, please contact us. CELIA Alliance CELIA Alliance members are identified here. Members of the CELIA Alliance are each independent law firms and do not practice law jointly with any other member of the CELIA Alliance. "CELIA Alliance" and "CELIA" are not trading names. For more information about the CELIA Alliance click here. Disclaimer Content is for general information purposes only. The information provided is not intended to be comprehensive and it does not constitute or contain legal or other advice. If you require assistance in relation to any issue please seek specific advice relevant to your particular circumstances. In particular, no responsibility shall be accepted by the authors or by Abbiss Cadres LLP for any losses occasioned by reliance on any content appearing on or accessible from this newsletter. For further legal information click here. Circular 230 disclosure To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS and other taxing authorities, we inform you that any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. Copying If you would like to copy or otherwise reproduce this article then you may do so provided that: (1) any such copy or reproduction is for your own personal use or if it is made available to any third party it is done so on a free of charge basis; and (2) the article is reproduced in full together with the contact details, disclaimer and any logos as they appear on each article.