The way UK businesses have to conduct Right to Work checks in the UK is changing. Today's status quo on taking on employees means UK businesses incorrectly conducting these checks may not only incur fines but also be deemed to be breaking UK employment law from October 1 2022. So, what are the five key changes UK businesses need to be aware of?
1. Receiving Right to Work proof over a video interview or by mail will now be ILLEGAL
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the UK government scrambled to allow businesses to conduct Right to Work checks from home to stop the spread of the virus. Temporary regulations allowed businesses to do so over Zoom or other video conferencing software, and photos of valid documentation could be sent via email to employers. But a major issue arose - the low quality of video and inability to check physical documents against a real person increased the potential for fraudulent documents to be used
2. ALL DIGITAL Right to Work checks MUST go through an Identity Service Provider (IDSP)
Temporary regulations proved the need and benefits of digital Right to Work checks, but further rules were needed to mitigate fraud. From October 1, all digital checks require the submission of personal documents and face scans using certified ID validation technology to verify the employees right to work. Any other method is non-compliant.
There are only a handful of certified IDSPs the government recommends businesses choose - Xydus is the only fully automated IDSP with over a decade of experience that guarantees compliance for today and tomorrow.
3. In-person Right to Work checks WILL still be allowed
The new regulations show the UK government is pushing businesses to modernise their Right to Work processes. However, as we continue to digitise businesses across the country the new regulations do still allow companies to conduct in-person Right to Work checks. The caveat is that these are far harder to prove and remain compliant to changing rules and regulations, and with a growing remote workforce proves awkward and at times impossible for new employees to adhere to.
Additionally, the human eye will never be as accurate in confirming identity as a computer, and cannot investigate incidents of fraud as quickly. Conduct in-person as a last resort if you must, but we suspect you won't be able to do this for much longer.
4. Proof must be stored for TWO YEARS
A little known rule within the Right to Work regulation is that records need to be kept for up to two years after an employee exits the business. Paper copies of such documents are easily misplaced or lost, not to mention the storage required to store them in large multinational companies.
5. Repercussions are SERIOUS
The new rules and regulations from the UK government could spell disaster for companies who fail to comply. Sanctions include a civil penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker, a criminal conviction in serious cases with an unlimited fine, closure of the business and losing the ability to sponsor migrants.