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Employers: Are you ready for the changing Right to Work checks from 1 October?

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Published 23 September 2022

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Navigating ‘Right to Work’ checks has long been a key component of employers’ obligations when onboarding new employees.

These checks must be conducted before an individual starts work and any offer of employment should be conditional upon the Right to Work check being satisfied. Failure to conduct these checks can result in fines of up to £20,000 per worker as well as criminal penalties and reputational damage.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, adjusted Right to Work checks were introduced on a temporary basis in March 2020. This meant that checks could be carried out over video calls rather than in person. However, these adjusted checks will come to an end on 30 September 2022.

From 1 October 2022, employers will need to carry out Right to Work checks using one of the following methods:

  • manual, in-person Right to Work checks;
  • the Home Office online checking service (if the individual is eligible); or
  • paying for an Identity Service Provider (IDSP) to conduct digital identity verification (although at present, this will only be possible for British and Irish passport holders).

The appropriate method to use will depend on the individual’s immigration status and the documents they hold.

Employers who have not done so already should review their hiring procedures in light of these changes and offer training to those conducting Right to Work checks. Employers should also consider whether the IDSP route is appropriate, taking account of the percentage of employees who hold various immigration documents and the rate of staff turnover.

For advice on conducting Right to Work checks, please contact our Employment Team.

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Shorter Reads

Employers: Are you ready for the changing Right to Work checks from 1 October?

Published 23 September 2022

Associated sectors / services

Authors

Navigating ‘Right to Work’ checks has long been a key component of employers’ obligations when onboarding new employees.

These checks must be conducted before an individual starts work and any offer of employment should be conditional upon the Right to Work check being satisfied. Failure to conduct these checks can result in fines of up to £20,000 per worker as well as criminal penalties and reputational damage.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, adjusted Right to Work checks were introduced on a temporary basis in March 2020. This meant that checks could be carried out over video calls rather than in person. However, these adjusted checks will come to an end on 30 September 2022.

From 1 October 2022, employers will need to carry out Right to Work checks using one of the following methods:

  • manual, in-person Right to Work checks;
  • the Home Office online checking service (if the individual is eligible); or
  • paying for an Identity Service Provider (IDSP) to conduct digital identity verification (although at present, this will only be possible for British and Irish passport holders).

The appropriate method to use will depend on the individual’s immigration status and the documents they hold.

Employers who have not done so already should review their hiring procedures in light of these changes and offer training to those conducting Right to Work checks. Employers should also consider whether the IDSP route is appropriate, taking account of the percentage of employees who hold various immigration documents and the rate of staff turnover.

For advice on conducting Right to Work checks, please contact our Employment Team.

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