Right to work checks have changed from 30th September

It may seem confusing, trying to navigate the government website looking for updates on remote right to work checks. You would be correct in thinking that changes to ‘Right to work checks’ have been introduced, but what are they?

Under UK law, it is illegal to employ a person who does not have a valid and subsisting right to work in the UK. But what happens if it transpires that a worker you have innocently engaged doesn’t in fact have the right, and immigration accuses you of failing to check? It is a statutory defence if you have carried out certain checks in accordance with the current rules, so you should be safe if you have followed them.

With remote checks (Teams, Zoom etc) now scrapped from 1st October 2022, it is a defence if you have undertaken one of the following:

  1. A manual right to work check (the original face to face checks carried out pre pandemic)
  2. A right to work check via an approved identification service provider (IDSP). This is for UK and Irish candidates.
  3. A Home Office online right to work check, for EU and overseas candidates.

And in all cases you have retained all the records.

There is further information for employers (Right to work checks: an employer’s guide) available on the government website here.

For recruitment businesses supplying candidates who are not employees (employees should already be checked) the requirement to carry out right to work checks is important as the Home Office can take draconian action in its investigations and other liabilities, such as the obligation to check suitability contained in the Agency Conduct Regulations, may follow.

For help on this topic please call Lawspeed on 01273 236236. Issues around checking suitability will also be covered in our upcoming seminar on 24th January 2023.

Theresa Mimnagh is Associate Director at the recruitment and employment law specialists Lawspeed.
Lawspeed group corporate clients benefit from immediate up to date advice on staff engagement and related regulation; employment status; client, IR35, PAYE and umbrella contract templates; contract review/negotiation; self-employment and CIS contract templates; trade membership and government representation; accreditation services and a state of the art digital contract management platform.

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