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From 6 April, the Government is introducing changes to the way in which employers conduct right to work checks.

Right to work checks on biometric card holders

Currently, holders of Biometric Residence Permits (BRP), Biometric Residence cards (BRC) or Frontier Worker Permits (FWP) can choose to use ether the Home Office online service or their physical card to evidence their right to work to an employer.

How will this change from 6 April 2022?

From 6 April 2022, BRP, BRC and FWP holders will only be able to evidence their right to work using the Home Office online service. Employers will no longer be able to accept physical cards for the purposes of right to work checks, even if it shows a later expiry date.

BRP, BRC and FWP cards will be removed from the lists of acceptable documents used to conduct a manual right to work check. However, retrospective checks will not be required on those who before 6 April 2022 used their physical card to demonstrate their right to work.

The Home Office online service is initially accessed by the worker, who then provides the employer with a “share code” enabling the employer to access and retain evidence of the worker’s status.

Right to work checks for British and Irish Nationals

Employers can currently carry out right to work checks on British and Irish nationals by manually checking their passport. The current home office online service cannot be used for prospective employees holding a British or Irish passport, however the Covid-19 adjusted digital right to work check process allows employers to conduct checks remotely for a time limited period.

Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT)

From 6 April 2022, employers will be able to decide whether to carry out the checks for British and Irish nationals manually or conduct digital checks using the new IDVT technology.

Employers can opt to use IDVT from 6 April but must engage an IDVT service provider that has been certified to carry out digital eligibility checks. Employers will, however, take ultimate responsibility for the checks they commission. Accordingly, employers still need to be satisfied that the checks have been conducted as required and that the images used are consistent with those presenting for work. Training staff who will use this process is also a key requirement for utilising the new digital checks.

Temporary Covid-19 Adjusted right to work checks

The adjusted remote right to work checks introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic have been extended and will remain in place until 30 September 2022, giving employers time to adjust to the new digital system or put in place post-pandemic practices that support manual checks. Retrospective checks are not required for those candidates for whom an adjusted check was carried out between 30 March 2020 and 30 September 2022.

For further guidance and support with employment law, immigration requirements and compliance with right to work checks, please contact Eleanor Wilkinson.


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