A very useful piece of information for anyone looking to recruit or get recruited!

What changes are being made to Right to Work Checks?

As of 1st October, businesses conducting a RTW check on their employees will no longer be able to use the adjusted checking process that was introduced as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the adjusted checking system, an employer could check RTW by viewing a scan of a passport or other valid RTW document, and then meeting the candidate on a video call such as Zoom or Teams. From 1st October this method will no longer be sufficient to provide legal cover if they employ an illegal worker. The penalties for employing an illegal worker are hefty – up to £20,000 per person.

So how do I check RTW?

From 1st October there will be three ways to check RTW status that will allow employers to meet their statutory obligations and protect themselves against illegal working.

The first of these is the manual check that was used before the temporary adjusted checks were introduced. This involves an employer viewing RTW documents in person and verifying their validity in line with government guidance.

Secondly, the Home Office has introduced a new online checking system that can be used for UK nationals. To use this system, an employer would need to partner with an accredited digital identity service provider (IDSP), who would use approved technology to do the check. This technology could be an online platform or app and will vary from provider to provider. A full list of the accredited providers can be found on gov.uk. Using an IDSP is a paid for service so employers will need to consider the commercial implications of any partnerships. The price per check varies between IDSPs but will usually be around 50p to £2 per check depending on the number of checks, provider used and other negotiated terms.

The third method of conducting a check is to use the Home Office’s Employer Checking Service, which is a free online system for checking the RTW of overseas candidates only.

Why have RTW checks gone digital?

After introducing the temporary adjusted checks in March 2020 as a response to the pandemic, the Home Office faced repeated calls from the REC to introduce a permanent digital solution. The REC wrote to the Home Secretary and liaised with senior civil servants to highlight the need for an efficient and easy to use digital platform to modernize the RTW checking process. As part of this we also hosted a roundtable with a number of REC members and the Home Office so our industry could share first-hand the need for a digital system. This meeting clearly had an impact as only a few days after this, they announced permanent digital checks would be introduced.

How can I find out more?

The REC Legal Helpline is available for members to call or email for further advice on the new RTW system. They can be contacted at legal@rec.uk.com or on 0207 009 2199.

Written by Patrick Milnes Campaigns Advisor