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February 2023 Update: Latest Changes to the Employer’s Guide for Right to Work Checks


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Last month the Government updated the Employers Guide to Right to Work checks.

It’s clearly challenging for employers to keep pace with these announcements from the Home Office – this latest update representing the 15th in the last 24 Months! What’s more, it is vital employers really understand and cascade these updates to ensure 100%compliance in ALL hiring situations.

The most significant aspects in this latest Home Office update related to:

  • Clarification for employers on the use of Identity Document Validation Technology (IDVT) and Identity Service Providers (IDSPs)
  • The use of “Reusable Identities” for checks involving the use of IDSPs
  • COVID-19 temporary adjusted check measures that ended on 30 September 2022

What do these updates mean for recruiting and compliance with Right to Work legislation today?

The good news for HR teams is that, supporting the shift towards remote recruitment, options do now exist to conduct these mandatory checks without the need to be face-to-face with the candidate. But, to stay complaint employers need to know the detail and clearly understand the scenarios when this is a viable option and how to proceed to in such cases.

In summary:

Remote IDVT Checks can ONLY be conducted on British & Irish Citizens with a valid passport, or passport card.

Prior to the introduction of IDVT checks the Government had issued general guidance to help mitigate identity document fraud. Essentially this was the use of IDVT to help combat illegal working and imposters and included a range of documents including passports, national Id cards, biometric residence permits, and driving licenses. This advice was intended to ‘enhance their pre-employment checking processes to minimise fraud’. However, these ‘pre-employment checks are not a substitute for compliant IDVT Right to Work checks as prescribed in the Employers Guide to Right to Work Checks.

Digital Checks can ONLY be conducted by Employers NOT IDSPs. The Home Office has clarified that only employers can secure a ‘statutory excuse’ – responsibility still resides with the employer, or recruiter and task cannot not be out-sourced.

More Share Codes, less need to contact the Employer’s Checking Service!

The Home Office has announced that moving forward, more Digital Checks (eVisas) will provide proof of Right to Work and that employers will not have to use the ECS (Employer Checking Service). ECS checks currently take 5-10 days for a Positive Verification Notice response. This is great news as it will speed up the time to hire and reduce the administrative burden on HR and compliance teams. We recommend you have a robust method to review, record and schedule re-checks as many will expire within 6 months.

If you have any questions, or concerns about how these updates may impact your business – speak with one of our Right to Work specialists.

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