Right to Work updates effective 6th April - Are you ready?

January 11, 2022
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The Home Office was busy over the festive period with two announcements in quick succession. These announcements are part of a general signal to businesses to embrace a digital approach to undertaking Right to Work checks, leveraging digital identity and document validation technologies such as Rightcheck. The Home Office wants businesses to move away from manual checking approaches, which are widely recognised as administratively burdensome and carrying a high risk of human error / non-compliance for organisations.

Right to Work Documents Updated

The first announcement, dated 17th December, outlined that some of the documents on List A / B will be removed from 6th April 2022 - Biometric Residence Cards, Biometric Residence and Frontier Worker Permits. Individuals holding these documents will, from 6th April 2022, need to be checked via an online share code.  

With this increasing use of share code, not only by EU citizens, but also by non-UK citizens from the rest of the world from April, recruiters need to ensure they are able to handle a large volume of share codes efficiently and effectively.

Rightcheck users will not need to be concerned about this development - Rightcheck already accommodates share code processing with functionality to automatically capture and manage all the required data, including relevant expiry dates. Digital identity verification technology also enables Rightcheck users to ensure the candidate providing the share code is actually who they purport to be, protecting the business from identity fraud.   

Remote Right to Work Checks 

The other driver for these announcements was pressure from several sources for clarity regarding remote Right to Work checks, after the COVID temporary measures end on 6th April 2022.

Update (22/02/2022): The Home Office has just announced that the deadline for temporary COVID-19: Right to Work Checks has been extended to 30 September 2022.

For certain sectors of the recruitment industry, organisations have found it desirable to recruit remotely during the pandemic and have lobbied to retain an ability to conduct Right to Work checks remotely. The second Home Office announcement on 27th December 2021 gave advance notice of a forthcoming ‘trust framework’, enabling ‘certified’ ID validation technology providers to provide this capability moving forward from the 6th April. 

Anticipating this development, Rightcheck have been busy building a new component to our Right to Work platform - a Candidate App that we will release soon. For those organisations who do place an importance on the need to conduct Right to Work checks remotely, the Rightcheck Candidate App will provide a simple, effective and compliant means to do so. 

Rightcheck will align with the Home Office trust framework and acquire certification for our new Candidate App in due course - as soon as the certification process has been released and finalised by the Home Office.

How can I conduct Right to Work checks after 6th April if I am not using Rightcheck?

The Home Office has only released limited information at this stage; some details have not been finalised by the relevant Government Departments and could be susceptible to change or delay given certain aspects will need to be formalised in legislation. We will update you with the information as more details become available.

That said, we believe organisations will still be able to carry out manual Right to Work checks without the aid of technology. However, the recognised issues of traditional approaches have increasingly been driving businesses to digitise their manual / paper-based Right to Work processes:

  1. Knowledge and training challenges of understanding and keeping up to date with Right to Work legislation. Cascading this knowledge with rigorous training and processes, in an effort to ensure it is consistently adhered to by all hiring/recruitment managers .  
  1. Procedural challenges of making sure the operational needs of the business to on-board efficiently are not obstructed. That personal, sensitive data acquired from candidates in the process follows a GDPR compliant process; immigration status expiry dates are logged and actioned - with required re-checks undertaken in a timely manner. The organisation is protected from the risk of human judgment, or error giving rise to potential ID fraud. Ensuring data is securely retained for the duration of employment - with ease of retrieval for inspection/audit purposes and mechanism to manage leavers, taking account of the statutory requirement to retain for 2 years post employment.

If you have any concerns, or queries about these developments do reach out to us. Alternatively, book a live demo now to see how Rightcheck can digitise your approach to Right to Work checks and help you get ready for these forthcoming changes to legislation.