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New digital right-to-work checks for British workers to begin in October

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Virtual right-to-work checks no longer possible

From 1 October 2022, employers must adopt new digital right-to-work checks for British and Irish nationals. The only alternative will be to go back to in-person manual checks.

According to global mobility and immigration advisers Vialto Partners, employers will no longer be able to use the virtual checks introduced by the Home Office under its ‘Covid-19 adjusted right to work checks’ concession.

The digital right-to-work checks are likely to speed up the required checks, ensuring that they are less cumbersome for employers and less disruptive for employees, especially for large, multi-site businesses.

All UK employers are expected to conduct right-to-work checks on all British and Irish nationals as well as EEA and Non-EEA nationals. If discovered, employers can see fines of up to £20,000 per illegal employee.

The Home Office has suggested that businesses conduct right-to-work checks for British and Irish nationals via an authorised Identification Service Provider with accredited Identification Documentation Verification Technology.

Lyudmyla Davies, Partner at Vialto Partners, 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.”

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