Right to Work Checks have changed from April 2022
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.
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.
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.
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