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CHANGES to the system that employers will have to use to carry out right-to-work checks in the future risks creating “confusion”, experts say.
From April 6, employers will need to navigate a new online checking system if they want to continue to carry out right-to-work checks virtually for UK and Irish nationals.

Before the pandemic firms onboarding new recruits carried out physical checks of passports and visual verification of individuals.
These rules were relaxed in March 30, 2020 as remote working began to allow for virtual checks, with new employees holding up their passports to their screen at home.  These current concessions are to be abolished from April 2022, and instead there will be a Government approved program that will allow employers to verify passports and other documents by using a digital photo/scan of the document. However, there will be a cost to this which could be anything from a few pounds to £60-70 per applicant!
The decision has surprised many employers who had expected existing (and free) government ID checking systems to be used.  The only alternative is for employers to go back to checking the original passports of these people and save themselves from having to pay any fees.

Sally Gwilliam, a senior employment law solicitor with Harper James, said: “The news that the Government has confirmed that digital right to work checks will continue permanently after April 2022 has generally been welcomed by employers, and was something the recruitment sector had been campaigning for.  However, employers have been given little warning that the new online checks could be costly because they will now have to fund the checks for UK nationals from April, and quickly train their staff on the new system. Right to work checks for overseas nationals can continue to be carried out free of charge on the existing free online service.  This raises additional concerns that this could create a two tier system that puts UK nationals at a disadvantage.”

There are also concerns relating to checks for non UK and Irish nationals.
New guidance has been published which mainly applies to immigration documents such as residence cards (BRP or BRC’s or FWP’s), and these will need to be checked online. While this is a free service for employers, the applicant will need to provide the employer with a share code that allows the employer to check the status.

Rashid Uzzaman, a senior business immigration solicitor at Harper James, has concerns.

He said: “The new right to work check rules will cause a great deal of confusion for most employers.  The confusion will come from the fact that employers can no longer see a physical residence card etc as proof of the right to work, and instead must use the digital process online. Previously employers had a choice, whereas this will change come April. Therefore, employers need to be aware of the new system and implement the new system as part of their onboarding process.”
For help and support in this area visit www.hjsolicitors.co.uk

From April 6, employers will need to navigate a new online checking system if they want to continue to carry out right-to-work checks virtually for UK and Irish nationals.

Before the pandemic firms onboarding new recruits carried out physical checks of passports and visual verification of individuals.
These rules were relaxed in March 30, 2020 as remote working began to allow for virtual checks, with new employees holding up their passports to their screen at home.  These current concessions are to be abolished from April 2022, and instead there will be a Government approved program that will allow employers to verify passports and other documents by using a digital photo/scan of the document. However, there will be a cost to this which could be anything from a few pounds to £60-70 per applicant!
The decision has surprised many employers who had expected existing (and free) government ID checking systems to be used.  The only alternative is for employers to go back to checking the original passports of these people and save themselves from having to pay any fees.

Sally Gwilliam, a senior employment law solicitor with Harper James, said: “The news that the Government has confirmed that digital right to work checks will continue permanently after April 2022 has generally been welcomed by employers, and was something the recruitment sector had been campaigning for.  However, employers have been given little warning that the new online checks could be costly because they will now have to fund the checks for UK nationals from April, and quickly train their staff on the new system. Right to work checks for overseas nationals can continue to be carried out free of charge on the existing free online service.  This raises additional concerns that this could create a two tier system that puts UK nationals at a disadvantage.”

There are also concerns relating to checks for non UK and Irish nationals.
New guidance has been published which mainly applies to immigration documents such as residence cards (BRP or BRC’s or FWP’s), and these will need to be checked online. While this is a free service for employers, the applicant will need to provide the employer with a share code that allows the employer to check the status.
Rashid Uzzaman, a senior business immigration solicitor at Harper James, has concerns.

He said: “The new right to work check rules will cause a great deal of confusion for most employers.  The confusion will come from the fact that employers can no longer see a physical residence card etc as proof of the right to work, and instead must use the digital process online. Previously employers had a choice, whereas this will change come April. Therefore, employers need to be aware of the new system and implement the new system as part of their onboarding process.”
For help and support in this area visit www.hjsolicitors.co.uk

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