27/08/22 -Temporary UK right to work checks extended until 2022
Originally due to end at the end of this month, the government have announced that temporary right to work checks can continue to be performed remotely until 5th April 2022. The measures employers must take (outlined below) have been watered down since March 2020 to recognise the decreased face to face contact because of Covid, and the resultant proliferation of homeworking, where many new employees have never physically met their employers.
Adjusted checks until April 6th 2022
Until 5th April 2022, UK employers will continue to be able to verify right to work over video calls with job applicants and existing workers. They will also continue to be able to accept scanned documents or a photo of documents via email or a mobile app, rather seeing the originals. By following this process properly (and keeping adequate evidence of having done so) employers will be able to claim a statutory defence if it turns out the employee’s documents were fake, and it transpired they were working illegally.
20K per illegal worker
Employers found to be employing illegal workers can be fined £20K per illegal worker, and these fines are not theoretical – myHRdept has seen real businesses fined thousands for relatively minor errors. Legal working checks extended in June to include EEA workers, formerly allowed to work without restriction in the UK, but now needing UK citizenship or settled, or pre-settled status in order to remain.
On-line verification service available
From 6th April the normal verification checks will resume and employers will be once again expected to obtain, inspect and copy original documents, or check the employee’s details on the governments on-line verification service: https://www.gov.uk/view-right-to-work. To do that, the employee or applicant will need to supply their share code. For more information on this important topic visit the .gov pages: https://www.gov.uk/check-job-applicant-right-to-work.
Employers won’t however be expected to backdate these checks for workers verified during the pandemic, provided the adjusted Covid-19 procedure has been properly used, and records have been kept.
myHRdept HR audits
If you are concerned that you don’t have the correct statutory defence documents in place to protect your organisation from being fined for inadvertently employing someone without the right to work in the UK, you could draw on your HR support package from myHRdept and ask us to carry out an audit of your existing right to work evidence for you. Some or all of the cost of this might already be covered by your HR support package – most of our HR support services retained packages include 1 or more site visits that can be used for this purpose.
If you’re thinking of outsourcing your HR or employment law needs, why not contact myHRdept? Call us on 01628 820515, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your requirements, or contact us via our website and we’ll call you back.