Changes to Right to Work Checks from 6 April 2022
The Home Office has announced that as of 06 April 2022, the only way that employers will be permitted to carry out Right to Work checks for certain employees, will be electronically.
How Can Employers Carry Out Right to Work Checks Currently?
As it stands, there are currently three ways in which a Right to Work check can be carried out:
- Manual Right to Work checks:
- This requires employers to obtain original documents from the employee, make the checks in front of the employee, and take a copy.
- Online Right to Work checks:
- Employees who’s immigration status can be checked online, such as those who hold a BRC, BRP, pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, a British National Overseas passport, or a Frontier Worker Permit, can log on to the Home Office online system to generate a share code. The employer can then use the share code to log onto the Home Office system for employers, and view the employee’s verified immigration status.
- Virtual Right to Work checks:
- This is a temporary method introduced by the Home Office in light of the recent difficulties faced by employers as a result of Covid-19. This method permits employers to conduct Right to Work checks using scanned copies, or a form of video call.
How Are Right to Work Checks Changing on 6 April 2022?
At present, employers are able to choose how they wish to carry out their Right to Work checks. This will change on 06 April 2022, when the Home Office imposes a rule that employers must carry out Right to Work checks online, if the employee is a holder of a BRP or BRC, a Frontier Worker Permit, or holds pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. In addition to this, virtual RTW checks will no longer be satisfactory. The virtual RTW checks were introduced as a temporary measure, and will come to an end on 05 April 2022.
To bridge the gap, a new system of digital checks will be introduced as an alternative to the manual checks. Employees will still be required to submit images of their personal documents, but they will not be required to produce originals. These digital checks will be aimed at British and Irish nationals, as the online checks would not work for them, given the Home Office will not hold any immigration records for them.
Who Do Employers Need to Carry Out Right to Work Checks On?
All prospective employees including British and Irish nationals, as well as settled migrants, must have Right to Work checks carried out. Employers are required to provide every opportunity for an individual to prove their right to work.
If an employer fails to carry out a Right to Work check, they may face a civil penalty, even if they assumed the employee had the right to work.
Will There Be a Charge for the New Right to Work Checks?
Depending on the way in which the Right to Work check is carried out, yes, there will be. The precise amount is not yet known, but the Recruitment and Employment Confederation believes that the cost could vary from £1.45 to £70 per digital check. If the employee is British or Irish, it does not appear that the digital checks will be compulsory. As such, employers may still opt for a manual check, which will be free of charge.
The online Right to Work checks for migrants will be free of charge.
Do I Need to Conduct Follow Up Right to Work Checks?
If the employee has permission to work in the UK for a limited period of time, you will need to recheck their right to work, when their permission expires. If you are employing a migrant whom you know has permission to work in the UK for a limited period of time, you will be required to conduct follow up checks. In doing so, the employer is entitled to conduct these checks either manually or using the online system, irrespective of the type of check the employer conducted originally, before employment commenced.
What Is the Difference Between a Right to Work Check and the Employers Checking Service?
As demonstrated above, not all individuals will qualify for an online Right to Work check. The Home Office’s Employer Checking Service (“ECS”) can be used to request confirmation that an individual has the right to work in the UK. The ECS can be used if any of the following applies:
- The individual has submitted an application for permission to stay in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) by 30 June 2021, but is yet to receive a decision, and has a non-digital Certificate of Application or acknowledgement document from the Home Office confirming the same;
- The Individual has submitted an application for permission to stay in the UK under the EUSS after 30 June 2021, but is yet to receive a decision and they have a non-digital Certificate of Application confirming the same;
- The individual has submitted an application for permission to remain in the UK before the expiry of their previous visa, and this application remains outstanding;
- The individual has a pending appeal or administrative review;
- The individual has has an Application Registration Card (ARC); or
- The individual is a long-term resident in the UK and arrived before 1988.
To use the ECS you can use the government website and enter the individuals details (name, date of birth, Home Office reference number(s) etc.). Upon submitting the request, the Home Office aim to respond within 5 working days, though this can be subject to delays.
If the Home Office are able to confirm that the individual has the Right to Work in the UK, you should receive a Positive Verification Notice (“PVN”), which will be valid for 6 months.
Contact our Business Immigration Barristers
For expert advice and assistance with Right to Work checks or any related work visa or immigration application, contact our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.