Right to work check update
Temporary changes to right to work checks, introduced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, will be coming to an end on 30 September 2022. This means that employers will no longer be able to carry out checks over video call, and accept scans or photographs of documents rather than seeing the original copies.
Online right to work checks have been available for foreign nationals with biometric residence cards or permits since 6 April via the Government's online checking service, so the real difference from 1 October onwards in terms of checking the right to work will be in relation to British and Irish citizens with valid passports. Employers will have the option of either carrying out manual checks as they did before the temporary changes to right to work checks came in, or carrying out a digital check.
Since 6 April there has been legislation in place enabling employers to use digital identity service providers (IDSPs) to digitally verify the identity of British and Irish citizens with valid passports as an alternative to conducting a manual right to work check. Initially there weren't any certified IDSP providers to carry out the checks, but there are plenty up and running now. A list of those bodies which have been certified can be found in the Government guidance, 'Digital identity certification for right to work, right to rent and criminal records checks'.
The IDSP provider acts on behalf of the employer. If an employer uses an IDSP provider it must obtain a clear copy of the IDSP identity check, and the document checked, in an unalterable format to obtain a statutory excuse from paying a civil penalty for employing an illegal worker. The employer will have to make sure that their provider is certified to meet the required standards and must retain a clear copy of the identity check, and the documents checked, for at least two years after the employment has come to an end.
As stated above, it's not compulsory to carry out a digital right to work check. However, if you don't then you need to be aware that, from 1 October, a manual check will have to be carried out as the temporary changes enabling remote checks will no longer be available.