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Right to Work Checks Back to Pre-Covid Regime - Guest Article by Ian Holloway

It is mandatory that employers perform ‘Right to Work’ checks on new applicants and employees.  The underlying reason for this is to ensure that they do have the right to work in the United Kingdom, thereby preventing illegal working.

Legislation

This obligation is imposed under provisions in The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, with Regulation 15 (3) imposing a civil penalty regime for non-compliance.

Regulation 3 of The Immigration (Restrictions on Employment) Order 2007 gave employers a statutory excuse from the penalty if it carries our Right to Work Checks.  Employers can either do this by checking original documents or performing this online if they have shared their right to work code.

Covid-19 Concession

On 30 March 2020, the Home Office introduced temporary adjustments which meant that employers could rely on scans or photographs of original documents rather than have the actual documents.

This is a reminder that this temporary adjustment comes to an end on 16 May 2021.  From 19 May 2021, employers will have to revert to performing checks using original documents.  The reversion back to the use of original documents means that checks can still be carried out via video link (or live) but the employer must have the original documents with them.

31 March 2020 to 16 May 2021?

The same Home Office advice includes the following welcome news for employers regarding the temporary adjustment that has been in place:

You do not need to carry out retrospective checks on those who had a COVID-19 adjusted check between 30 March 2020 and 16 May 2021 (inclusive). This reflects the length of time the adjusted checks have been in place and supports business during this difficult time.

Business as Usual?

The shame about this announcement is that many employers will not have returned to the office and/or will still be nervous about handling original documents and conducting face-to-face interviews.  Plus there is the reality that some employers will carry on performing remote working and will not be returning to the office at all.

This Home Office announcement is, perhaps, surprising and employers are going to have to think about how they will conduct their Right to Work checks under the normal process.  I can’t be alone in thinking that returning to normal in abnormal times is going to be tricky, to say the least.

 

Ian Holloway ImageIan Holloway is a highly respected payroll practitioner, writer, advisor and trainer. He has worked in the payroll profession for over 30 years and is now Payroll Consultant at i-Realise, an independent change management business operating in the HR & payroll space.

Ian has hands-on experience processing payrolls from all sectors, large and small. In 2011 he shifted focus to his passion for educating the profession and also worked on improving payroll software solutions to meet legislative requirements and business goals.  He is the Trailblazer Chair for the Level 3 Payroll Administrator Apprenticeship and the Level 5 Payroll Assistant Manager Apprenticeship. He also advises on the practical impacts of new government legislation.

As Payroll Consultant at i-Realise, Ian’s broad experience and up-to-date knowledge allow him to publish insights to UK HR & Payroll professionals through workshops, white papers, newsletters and face-to-face presentations.  Ian regularly speaks at industry conferences and is a featured writer for several Payroll, HR and Finance publications.  Ian leads i-Realise’s monthly payroll forum, a confidential platform for in-house payroll leaders and managers to discuss new legislation and collectively improve best practice.

You can contact Ian at iholloway@i-realise.co.uk

https://www.i-realise.co.uk/

 

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