Digital right to work checks


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From 6 April 2022, employers will be able to use certified Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT) service providers to carry out digital identity checks on their behalf.

The changes will:

  • Allow those in scope to verify their identify remotely, prove their eligibility to work or rent and apply for DBS checks.  Using IDVT will allow people to upload images of their personal documents, instead of presenting physical documents to a prospective employer – reducing time and mitigating risk.
  • Allow private sector IDVT service providers to become independently certified by UK Accreditation Services (UKAS) accredited assessors to ensure the technology meets the Government Standards and the applicant's data is protected.

The Home Office guidance, 'Employer right to work checks', was updated on 17 January with a new annex F. This sets out how employers can comply with their responsibilities to conduct right to work checks when using certificated Identity Service Providers (IDSPs) to complete the digital identity verification and eligibility element of checks involving British and Irish citizens who hold a valid passport (including Irish passport cards).

Verification of eligibility for right to work checks is the process of confirming that the prospective employee holds a specified document (as set out in the guidance). Where the document is the same as that used to complete the digital identify verification process, the employer does not need to request it again.

The guidance makes it clear that employers who use IDVT provided by an IDSP will still ultimately be responsible for each right to work check carried out. However, an employer will be able to rely on a verified identity from a certified IDSP as providing the required level of confidence for the purposes of claiming a statutory excuse against being liable for an illegal working civil penalty.

The DBS has published some digital identity verification guidance which was updated on 17 January. This sets out how Registered Bodies (organisations registered with the DBS to submit standard, enhanced and enhanced with barred list checks) and Responsible Organisations (a person or organisation registered with the DBS to submit basic checks) can undertake digital identify verification for the purposes of verifying an individual's identity, as part of an application for a DBS check.

The DBS guidance points out that a DBS check does not provide evidence of a person's right to work in the UK, and that a separate check must be done to make sure that a job applicant can work in the UK. However, it points out that IDSPs may also be certified to undertake right to work checks and so a single check may be used to confirm a person's right to work eligibility and identity for a DBS check.

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