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Changes to Right to Work Checks from 1st October

If you have recruited staff, either temp or perm, onto your books during the last two years, you have probably benefited from more relaxed Right to Work (RTW) checks which were in place during the pandemic. As of 1st October 2022, these are being tightened up again.

It is important for employers to be aware of this change, because there’s a civil penalty of up to £20,000 for getting it wrong, if they end up employing an illegal worker. 

Measures were put in place by the government back in 2020 which allowed RTW checks to be completed by video call and for scans or photos of documents to be accepted rather than originals. This was to make it easier for employers to recruit while keeping to social distancing rules during covid.

What’s changed?

From 1st October employers will need to conduct a check in one of the following ways, depending on their immigration status and the type of document they submit.

  • A face-to-face manual check with original documents
  • Using the Home Office’s online checking service
  • Using an accredited Identity Service Provider (IDSP)

Where an individual holds a Biometric Residence Card (BRC), a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) or a Frontier Worker Permit (FWP), the employer needs to perform an online check, by asking the employee for a share code and then completing the steps to complete the Right to Work check online. 

This also applies to those with e-visas, for example individuals who have EU Settled Status, EU Pre-settled Status or who applied for UK immigration permission using the UK Immigration:ID Check app.

For people not eligible for online checks, including British and Irish passport holders, the check needs to be carried out in person or using an IDSP. 

Using an IDSP

This is a relatively new thing. In April 2022, legislation was introduced to allow Identity Service Providers (IDSPs) to complete a right to work check using Identity Document Validation Technology (IDVT).

There is a cost involved for each digital check, but this is a useful service, especially for smaller businesses and those in situations where it is difficult to carry-out manual checks. 

You can find a list of accredited IDSPs here

Liquid Friday umbrella workers

You only need to carry out Right to Work checks for workers you are employing directly. 

For anyone working through Liquid Friday PAYE umbrella, we are responsible for checking their right to work.

At Liquid Friday, we engage an average of 4500 contractors at any one time, with a dedicated Compliance Team responsible for conducting RTW checks. We have also partnered with an industry-leading IDSP in order to compliantly undertake RTW checks via IDVT. (Acronyms are explained above!) 

When a contractor from an EU country applies to join Liquid Friday as their umbrella company, there is an option to select their immigration status on the online application. They will then be directed to either indicate their share code, or upload a copy of their documents. A robust compliance check is then undertaken to ensure the worker has the right to work in the UK. 

We can support our recruitment agency partners in many areas of legislative compliance, including RTW. If you need help, contact us,or speak to your Liquid Friday Account Manager.