25/06/2021 – Normal right to work checks will resume 1st September – HR support and guidance for employers
Employers are required to verify that new hires have the right to work in the UK, and not doing so could result in a fine of £20K per illegal worker identified. Employers should take this seriously, as myHRdept has seen real businesses fined thousands for seemingly innocuous errors.
The measures employers must take (outlined below) have been watered down since March 2020 to recognise the decreased face to face contact we’ve been forced into because of Covid.
Originally employers were told that 20th June they could continue to be able to verify right to work over video calls with job applicants and existing workers, and accept scanned documents or a photo of documents via email or a mobile app, rather seeing the originals. Given the extension of lockdown the government announced that this would now extend until 31st August until which time employers will continue to apply the amended right to work checks. By following these checks 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.
After 31st August
After 31st August the normal verification checks will resume and employers will be once again expected to obtain, inspect and copy original documents to have any defence against fines for employing an illegal worker, 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. To summarise though from 1st September the normal system for checking whether an employee or applicant is able to work in the UK will resume.
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 ask myHRdept to carry out an audit for you. Some or all of the cost of this might already be covered by your HR support package – most of our 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 to discuss your requirements or contact us and we’ll call you back.