Right to Work Checks - Are You Prepared for the 1st September 2021?

September 22, 2021
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There is concern and some confusion about the imminent change in approach to Right to Works checks that takes effect on 1st September 2021.

What are HR teams and Recruiters expected to do from the 1st September? How can organisations revert to the pre-pandemic approach to Right to Work checks with full confidence that the checks will adhere to the Home Office legislation and GDPR compliance?

In this article we address these issues and outline how organisations can ensure they are ready for the change.

Firstly let’s clarify what is happening on the 1st September. In March 2020 the Government introduced some 'temporary measures' regarding the process when undertaking Right to Work changes - these temporary measures are now coming to an end.

Primarily these temporary measures relaxed the necessity for physical (face to face) inspection of ID documentation, which obviously represented a challenge given the COVID pandemic. With these temporary measures now ending we are aware that some confusion has arisen.

Does this mean an end to the ability to recruit and hire remotely? The answer is no. Remote hiring is still very much a viable option for employers.

Whilst the temporary dispensation that allowed employers to view a candidate’s Right to Work documentation via a Zoom call has come to end, employers are at complete liberty to resurrect the recruitment approaches they followed pre-pandemic.

What does this mean in practice?

Many employers need to recruit off-site, remotely from their operations. This may be conducted online, but will also frequently take place in coffee-shops, motorway service stations, hotels etc.

Even once the recruitment process has drawn to a conclusion and a job offer has been made, in the vast majority of roles there will inevitably be a requirement for the new recruit to physically visit the premises/site where they will be working before they start work - this could be to pick up uniform, equipment, or simply collect on-boarding information/briefing.

The key is to recognise that all of these face to face interactions with the individual represent an opportunity to undertake a Right to Work check and physically inspect ID documentation.

The Home Office guidelines do not dictate to employers at what stage in their recruitment process they should undertake a Right to Work check - what is a mandatory requirement is that the check must be undertaken prior to the commencement of employment.

What do we have to do from 1st September?

Right to Works checks continue to be necessary for all new employees. You must continue to check the prescribed documents, and follow the process, set out in the latest Home Office guidance.

What do we need to do regarding the checks we undertook prior to 1st September 2021?

There is no longer a requirement to carry out retrospective checks on candidates who were employed between 20th March 2020 and 31st August. However, there are many individual cases that may require extra attention. It is imperative that these checks are labelled 'adjusted checks' and can be easily identified should there be a need for one of the checks to be reviewed.

In summary……

Due to the scale of recruitment compliance challenges brought about by the UK's exit from the EU and COVID-19, we understand HR teams are facing an enormous pressure to keep track and ensure on-going compliance with legislation.

With that in mind, Rightcheck offers a Right to Work digital solution, which is precisely what HR teams and recruiters need in such times of uncertainty. The changes in hiring EU candidates, reverting to pre-pandemic process for Right to Work checks, as well as a number of other updates in Right to Work legislation are automatically taken care of by Rightcheck's in-built logic. We can help deliver an efficient, compliant and improved hiring experience for both HR teams and candidates.

To find out how your recruitment team can navigate these changes smoothly, drop us a message at advice@rightcheck.io and we will be in touch shortly.