Whilst the headlines continue to be about about staff shortages, recruitment challenges and temporary visa arrangements for certain classifications of workers (eg. HGV drivers); the hidden impact is the detail contained within the new Home Office guidelines.
A ‘grace period’ between the date of BREXIT 31st December 2020 and 30th June 2021 was specifically designed for EU citizens who were residing in the UK.
The grace period protected the rights of EEA nationals residing in the UK at the end of the transition period (31st December 2020), but who had not yet been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme. They were required to apply for settled or pre-settle status by the deadline of 30th June 2021 should they wish to remain residents in the UK. Consequently, from a Right to Work perspective, the 1st July 2021 became a very significant date when the check procedures for foreign nationals changed and new Home Office guidance was released.
Whilst this new guidance, effective 1st July was initially released in June it has already been updated further – with the latest guidance released on 31st August 2021. This presents a challenge for business in itself – merely keeping up-to-date with the changes in regulation. The new guidance details major changes – new documents, new visa types and new approaches for EU citizens.
Another significant development has been the drive towards the use of an ‘online share code’ to establish an individual’s Right to Work. It is unfortunately a slow and lengthy process to perform a Right to Work check with a ‘share code’ on the official government site. However we have good news for recruiters - it can be much quicker and easier with Rightcheck’s Automated Share Code Feature.
2021 also heralded the demand for ‘remote recruitment’. The Government responded with welcomed temporary adjustments to the Right to Work check process; in theory these adjustments were designed to make it easier to recruit remotely. In practice, there are considerations to be made when conducting remote Right to Work checks to ensure the employer remains compliant. These temporary adjustments come to an end in April 2022.
What did not change in 2021 was the strict requirement for checks to be undertaken prior to commencement of employment and by the employer themselves – not a third party recruiter.
We urge all employers and recruiters to ensure they are familiar and completely up-to-date with the details of this new guidance. The consequences of non-compliance are no less severe than they were pre-COVID and there is clear evidence that UKVI inspections and audits of companies have resumed, with the latest quarterly listing of companies and penalties being released last Friday 5th November. To make sure you are fully compliant with the most current guidance, we encourage you to subscribe to our blog to receive recruitment compliance updates, including latest Home Office Right to Work legislation.
To find out more about how Rightcheck can help you improve compliance, reduce risk, cut costs and save time, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 02476 158 830.