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Legal changes

What are the new changes the Home Office has announced to RTW checks?

The Home Office Employer’s Guide to Right to Work Checks advises employers on how to conduct a compliant right to work check to establish a statutory excuse against liability for a civil penalty. The guidance was updated on 28 February 2023.

Important updates include:

Use of ID Service Providers (IDPS)

Clarification on the use of Identity Document Validation Technology (IDVT) and Identity Service Providers (IDSPs) to support manual document-based and Home Office online checking service right to work checks. Employers cannot completely outsource right to work checks in the UK to IDPS. Checks must be made on all employees who are not British or Irish citizens.

eVisa and pending applications

Changes to allow some individuals with an outstanding, in-time application for permission to stay in the UK, or an appeal, or administrative review (3C leave) to prove their right to work using the Home Office online checking service, rather than the Employer Checking Service.

Re-Admission to the UK (RUK)

Confirmation that Re-Admission to the UK (RUK) endorsements are acceptable for the purposes of right to work checks (List A, 4).

Evidence for employing migrant students (Annex B)

Further information on what evidence employers should obtain from the educational institution on term times for the employees with a student visa. This is important to establish a statutory excuse for all student employees, as this ensures that the students do not breach the right to work conditions of their student Visa and that they are allowed to undertake the work. It is vital to check that the information provided comes from the educational provider. Official website pages are frequently used, but it is recommended that a letter confirming the student’s terms dates over the period of employment is obtained and retained.

Information on short-dated Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs)

Employers must not assume that BRPs with an expiry date of 31 December 2024 are issued in error). The online right to work check should display the correct immigration permission expiry date.

The importance of compliant right to work checks

Compliant right to work checks are an essential requirement for all UK employers. Aside from the reputational damage, employers could lose their sponsor licence and possibly face criminal convictions if they do not comply with the guidelines. With potential civil penalties of up to £20,000 for each illegal worker who does not have the right to work in the UK (or even where the checks were not undertaken correctly), it is crucial that checks are carried out in accordance with Home Office guidance. 

For more information on right to work checks, contact our immigration solicitors.