Simplified Online Right to Work Checks for Employers

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Since April 2018, employers have been able to use the Home Office Checking Service to check the right to work of migrants. By simply filling in the information on the Government website you can get a printout issued by the Home Office with the individual’s photo and whether or not they were entitled to work in the UK. However, alongside this, you had to request physical documents such as residency cards and passports. It was down to the employer to verify and check the validity of the documents and, with a trained eye, be wary of forgeries. The penalty for hiring an illegal worker because of improper recruitment procedures is £20,000 per illegal worker. That is a huge risk for a company and well worth the time it takes to put into place correct procedures in their hiring processes.

As of 28th January 2019, the Immigration (Restrictions on Employment) (Code of Practice and Miscellaneous Amendments) Order 2018 will come into effect and you will be able to rely on the Home Office checking service to show that you have carried out these checks. Simply put, employers will no longer need physical documents when checking migrants, by logging onto the website, following the simple step-by-step process and getting a print out of the result, they can prove that they have done the check and avoid the penalty.

The Immigration Minister, Caroline Nokes, said that it is a step to simplifying and modernising the immigration system, making it “simpler for employers and provides greater security, as they no longer need to rely on physical documents when checking migrants’ status, further reducing the risk of forged documents being provided”.

Who is it for?
  • The service can be used for checks on individuals from outside the EU who have a biometric or residency card.
  • If EU nationals have not been granted settled status then they will still need to show the appropriate documents such as a passport.
  • Not only is the service available to employers but also to the individuals, allowing them to view and prove their own right to work in the UK.
  • British nationals who do not have a passport, adoption certificate or long form birth certificates can also use the service to prove their right to work.
How does it work?
  • The service is voluntary so you will need to get the employee’s consent to carry out the check
  • They will provide you with a share code and their date of birth then you log on and carry out the check
  • Retain a clear copy of the result of the online check for your records
  • The result will show whether they are entitled to work in the UK and whether there is a time limit
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