From 1 October 2022 employers must revert to in-person Right to Work Checks.
The temporary COVID-19 concessions introduced by the Home Office allowed employers to carry out Right to Work Checks remotely. Due to the restrictions in place at the time, businesses were being advised to allow their staff to work from home where possible. The concessions allowed employers to carry out right to work checks via video calls, and permit job applicants and existing workers to send scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks, rather than sending originals via the post.
These concessions have now come to an end and from 1 October 2022 employers will be required to either:
- Perform an in-person manual Right to Work Check using original documents
- Perform an online check using the Home Office online service
- Engage the services of a certified Identity Service Provider (IDSP).
Right to Work Checks were introduced under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act of 2006, and are a core component of UK employers’ duties. Businesses are required to meet various obligations to comply with legislation governing the prevention of illegal working. The law is designed to prevent people from working in the UK illegally; it affects all UK employers directly, as Right to Work Checks are necessary on all new employees, regardless of their nationality or immigration status.
In light of the changes, employers should review their hiring procedures to ensure they are following the new procedures. Failure to carry out Right to Work Checks, or to carry them out properly, risks the imposition of a civil penalty of up to £20,000 per breach of the law if your company is found to be employing an illegal worker, so it is important to adjust your Right to Work Check procedures in light of the 1 October 2022 rule changes. A recent poll by Xydus showed that almost half (48%) of businesses surveyed were unprepared for the upcoming changes and more than three-quarters (78%) were unaware that failing to carry out the correct right to work checks on their employees could result in imprisonment.
If your company holds a sponsor licence you may be at greater risk of falling foul of the Right to Work Checks and run the risk of suspension or revocation of your sponsor licence, meaning you will be unable to sponsor any new sponsored workers or, if revoked, continue to employ your existing sponsored workers.
Contact our Immigration Team
For initial advice on Right to Work Checks or to arrange a meeting with one of our Immigration solicitors, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on 020 7631 4141 and ask to speak to a member of the Immigration team.
The above is accurate as at 01 October 2022. The information above may be subject to change.
The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis.