Digital right to work checks going in to 2022

Since March 2020, we’ve seen the adjusted right to work checks extended four times whilst we attempt to combat the coronavirus and make returning to work as safe as possible with a number of safety measures and vaccines. 

As it stands the next end date for adjusted right to work checks end on 5th April 2022, but what are the options beyond this date? 

Below I have researched some alternatives that could replace face to face checks saving time, money and also the environment from needless travel.  Before I outline these I wanted to reiterate the current rules regarding adjusted right to work checks:

  • checks can currently be carried out over video calls
  • job applicants and existing workers can send scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than sending originals
  • employers should use the Home Office Employer Checking Service if a prospective or existing employee cannot provide any of the accepted documents

The simple answer to digital right to work checks is using verification apps, or extending the ‘view right to work’ section on the .gov website to UK citizen checks and not just EU/EEA citizens, which would surely make more sense? 

It’s such an easy, time-saving tool that requires the job applicant to generate a share code, provide this to their new employer and then the employer go to https://www.gov.uk/view-right-to-work and enter the job applicants date of birth plus share code.  I’m probably making this sound a lot easier than what it actually is to implement as I’m sure data protection laws will play a huge part in this, but the government now have the chance to be innovative and create something that could benefit everyone. 

The original checks assume that the individual completing the RTW process can spot the correct watermarks, random fibres in the document, background print, and intaglio ink. As ID fraud becomes more and more advanced, there is always the risk that the employer is unable to spot a fraudulent document meaning technology is the most probable solution going forward.  Some of the features include:

  • Validation of the document type, expiration date and candidate’s date of birth
  • Optical character recognition
  • A number of the apps are approved by the UK Home Office where the liability can be passed on

I’m sure we have a long way to go before something like this is implemented, and one would hope that the UK Government keep the remote right to work checking process as this would help job seekers find work a lot easier, businesses to obtain the best talent across the country but also reduce the carbon footprint.

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