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New digital right to work checks for British workers from 1 October 2022

Employers will from 1 October 2022 need to adopt new digital right to work checks for British and Irish nationals or revert to cumbersome manual in-person checks.

It will, says global mobility and immigration advisers Vialto Partners, no longer be possible for employers to rely on the virtual checks introduced by the Home Office under its ‘Covid-19 adjusted right to work checks’ concession.

Digital right to work checks will, says Lyudmyla Davies, a Partner at Vialto Partners, speed up those checks, making them less cumbersome for employers and less disruptive for employees, particularly for businesses with large and multi-sited workforces.

Right to work checks are a requirement for all UK employers who must ensure individuals they wish to employ have a legal right to work. Employers face a fine of up to £20,000 for each employee if they are found to be working in the UK illegally. Right to work checks are required for all British and Irish nationals as well as EEA and Non-EEA nationals.    

The Home Office wishes businesses to conduct right to work checks for British and Irish nationals via an authorised Identification Service Provider with accredited Identification Documentation Verification Technology, although it will not be essential.

Lyudmyla said: “Right to work checks exist to reduce the risk of employers employing staff that do not have the right to work in the UK. Traditionally, they would be conducted in person with an employer or HR adviser checking a passport or identity card.

“The Home Office had intended to move to online right to work checks in April this year but pushed back following delays in certifying technology providers. From 1 October, right to checks for British and Irish nationals must be done using Identification Validation Technology or they must revert back to the cumbersome process of manually checking and certifying original documents in person.

“The Government would like employers to use a certified Identification Service Provider, saying it takes reassurance from the certification process and that employers should too. It will not, however, be essential.

“Employers have a short window of time to adopt this new regime, and those that get it wrong can be fined £20,000 for each illegal worker and lose their ability to sponsor overseas workers.”

Vialto Partners has introduced its own AI-powered Identification Documentation Verification Technology that can quickly and efficiently read and verify identification documents together with ‘selfies’ of individuals.

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