Right to Work Checks Changing from 6 April 2022

Employer carrying out right to work checks
LLB (Hons) & LPC Cathryn Davies
Written by: Jessica Lee Legally reviewed by: LLB (Hons) & LPC Cathryn Davies Updated: In: Immigration

How are Right to Work Checks Changing?

Right to work checks are essential for businesses who do not wish to fall foul of the penalties for employing illegal workers. It is advised that employers check the status of all prospective employees.

From the 6th of April 2022, Biometric Residence Card (BRC), Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), and Frontier Worker Permit (FWP) holders in the United Kingdom will evidence their right to work using the Home Office Online Service.

What Does This Mean for Employers and Employees?

  • From the 6th of April 2022, employers will no longer be able to accept a physical BRC, FWP or BRP as proof of right to work in the UK. This includes documents that have an expiration date later than the 6th of April 2022.
  • An employer will not need to check the status of BRC and BRP holders who were employed up to the 5th of April 2022. Employers will remain protected against any civil penalty if the initial checks were undertaken in line with the guidance applied at the time the checks were made.

Right to Work Checks 

The Home Office states: “All employers in the UK have a responsibility to prevent illegal working. You do this by conducting simple right to work checks before you employ someone, to make sure the individual is not disqualified from carrying out the work in question by reason of their immigration status.”

What Right to Work Check Do I Need?

There are two types of checks:

  1. Manual check
  2. Online check

Whether you need a manual check or an online check will be determined by the status of the job applicant.

Who Should Employers Carry Out a Right to Work Check On?

With the new changes on the 6th of April 2022, an online Right to Work check is required by all BRC, BRP and FWP holders. This is also the case for individuals who only hold digital proof of their immigration status in the United Kingdom.

When it comes to employment, all prospective employees must have a Right to Work check. This includes British and Irish nationals as well as settled immigrants. Employers are required to provide every possible opportunity for an individual to prove their right to work. For an online check, employers will need the applicant’s date of birth and an online-generated share code that the applicant will supply.

The government has provided further information for employers using the online service.

Additionally, the government has provided details on how to complete the online right to work check.

What Happens If an Employer Fails to Carry Out Right to Work Checks?

It’s vital that an employer provides every opportunity for the prospective employees to prove their right to work. However, if an employer fails to carry out the appropriate checks, they can face a civil penalty. The penalty can be carried out even if the employer assumed the employee had the right to work.

Will a Right to Work Check Cost Money?

The checks can cost depending on the way in which they are carried out. The exact amount is not yet known due to the changes being very recently introduced. Despite this, Confederation believes that the cost could range between £1.45 and £70 per digital check.

If the employee is British or Irish, it currently does not appear that the digital check is compulsory. Therefore, employers may still opt for a manual check, which will be free. For employers hiring migrants, the Online Right to Work checks will also be free of charge.

How AWH’s Immigration Solicitors’ Can Help You

Our immigration team provide expert advice for businesses that have received a civil penalty for illegal employment. To discuss your available options, please get in touch.

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