Right to Work during Covid-19

How online validation can help recruiters with Right to Work during Covid-19

As ‘social distancing’ continues to enforce remote working and a lack of face-to-face contact, this clearly presents many challenges to those recruiters who need to verify the identity of their applicants for Right to Work checks.

However, you may already be aware that, as of 30th March, the government has introduced some temporary changes to support businesses who are recruiting during these challenging times.

What has changed?

From 30th March, legislation surrounding Right to Work checks has been temporarily amended due to the circumstances surrounding Covid-19. Full details can be found here.

The main takeaways from this announcement are designed to ensure that new recruits and recruiters alike don’t need to leave their home to verify their documents during this pandemic. In summary, the changes are as follows:
• You may now ask a candidate to submit a scanned copy or photo of their original documents to you via email or using a mobile app
• You can then arrange a video call with the applicant – ask them to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents

The remaining requirements around Right to Work remain the same, in terms of record keeping and ensuring that the documents you are seeing from List A and List B allow the holder to work in the UK. Recruiters should continue to use the Employer Checking Service if a candidate or existing employee cannot provide any of the accepted documents, for example, due to a pending application with the Home Office.

It is still an offence to knowingly employ anyone who doesn’t have the correct UK immigration status, so you should still take all possible steps to identify illegal workers.

The revised guidelines also make it clear that, as these adjusted Right to Work checks are temporary, you need to conduct the normal full checks once the temporary measures come to an end. The government have not yet set an end date but when they do, you’ll have an 8-week window to carry out a full retrospective check, including seeing the original document in person.

How can electronic checks help?

Many recruiters will usually rely on a face-to-face, visual inspection of an identity document to verify the Right to Work status of their candidates. During these temporary measures, however, they will obviously find it much more challenging to effectively and reliably assess a document without seeing the original. So, many organisations are asking us how electronic checks can help:

– Reliably validate a document image
Electronic validation services, such as TrustID cloud, allow you to upload a document image onto a secure website, using your computer or via a mobile App. The service then checks security features and algorithms to assess the authenticity of a document. The TrustID service is also backed up by our expert document team to give you extra protection from fraudulent documents and additional peace of mind if you do see a suspicious document.

– Save time
An online validation service returns a document assessment within minutes. Our validation service returns a report for your records within 1 hour and our helpdesk is open 7 days a week – perfect if you’re looking to onboard quickly.

– Don’t waste your investment
According to the amended guidelines, after temporary measures end and you run a retrospective right to work check, you must immediately end the employment of any employee who you discover doesn’t have permission to work in the UK. However, as we don’t know how long the restrictions will be in place, this could mean investing in an employee for several months, only to have to get rid of them once the pandemic has passed. Validating a copy of their document at the point of employment will highlight anything suspicious before they start their employment.

– Provide a short-term solution
TrustID Cloud is sold on a pay-per-check model, with our minimum order during this period set at just 50 credits. So, if you want to amend your process for the next few weeks only, the service gives you a straightforward way to do so with no long-term contract.

These pragmatic measures by the government are designed to make Right to Work checks easier in these difficult times. If you’d like any advice about implementing process changes, even just for the short-term, we’d be happy to help so please get in touch: enquiries@trustid.co.uk / T: 0118 466 0822

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