Right to work checks – key dates

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6 April 2022 : online move for some permit and visa holders

From 6 April 2022, employers must carry out an online right to work check for those who hold a Biometric Residence Card (BRC), Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) or Frontier Worker Permit (FWP).

Manual and video call checks for people holding these documents will no longer be allowed. This means that any manual or video call checks for employees with these cards or permits from 6 April will not provide the employer with a statutory excuse against a penalty for illegal working.

The visa/permit holder will need to generate a right to work share code online and share this with their employer. The employer will need the person’s share code and date of birth to check their right to work online. The online status will confirm whether the person has a right to work and when their leave expires.

It’s also worth noting that retrospective checks will not be required where an initial right to work check was completed before 6 April 2022. If a retrospective check is carried out, and the employee does not have a right to work, then employers should take the appropriate action.

6 April 2022 : introduction of the Identification Document Validation Technology 

For those who are not able to use the Home Office’s current online right to work checking services (including British and Irish citizens) because they don’t have an online immigration status or a biometric residence permit/card, a new technology will be introduced on 6 April 2022 to digitally carry out right to work checks. It is called the Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT), and will be operated by certified identity service providers (IDSPs).

The government aims to reduce the time and money spent on recruitment processes by allowing those who use the IDSP to verify identities quickly. It also allows the IDSP to carry out checks at scale to benefit large recruitment campaigns that recruit a high number of new employees. The hope is that these developments willmake the system more secure, quicker to complete, and bettersupport remote working practices.

30 September 2022 : end of coronavirus ajustements

Last month, the UK Governmnt confirmed that adjustments that were put in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic would remain in place until 30 September 2022. This includes allowing employers to conduct right to work checks ‘remotely’, via video calls, instead of in-person.

This will of course no longer be possible for employees with BRP’s, BRC’s or FWP’s from 6 April, but whether adjusted checks can take place for all other groups beyond this date remains to be seen.  Given the Home Office’s enthusiasm for online methods though, it’s likely that some form of remote checking will be allowed in the long term.

31 December 2024: BRP max expiry date

Currently, BRPs have an expiry date of no later than 31 December 2024, even if the visa holder’s actual grant of leave expires after this date. So, employers who are currently completing a manual right to work check should schedule a repeat online check before expiry of the BRP, even if the migrant’s leave is still valid.

How we can help

For each illegal worker employed, the employer is potentially liable to pay a fine of up to £20,000. Therefore, it is imperative that these right to work checks are conducted accurately. Our dedicated Business Immigration team know the rules and can help you follow the right to work guidance and avoid the excessive fines. To find out more about how we can support you, don’t hesitate to get in touch at a.christen@capitallaw.co.uk.

You’re also welcome to sign up (here) for our free online breakfast briefing on global mobility issues, taking place on 15 March 2022. We’ll give an overview of the implications of a globally mobile workforce, helping you understand where the risks lie and how to overcome them.