Why Right to Work Checks Still Matter

UKVI impose tough regulations on employers to ensure only those with a genuine right to work in the UK take up employment. In addition, any business who does not know the identity of their employees runs the risk of harm to their staff, customers, systems  and intellectual property. Getting right to work checks wrong may result in fines for non-compliance, but it if not handled properly, there could also be allegations of discrimination. This paper takes a brief look at each area and offers some easy to implement solutions.

Legal Issues

UKVI have a set of guidelines which should be followed to ensure an employer has the statutory excuse in place for all employees. This involves a process of accepting, checking and recording specific documents to prove the right to work. Various issues come in to play – following UKVI guidance; knowing which combination of documents are acceptable; knowing they are genuine (and give the right to work); secure storage in line with GDPR requirements and ensuring there is no discrimination. Balancing these, sometimes conflicting, requirements can be challenging.

In recent months UKVI introduced temporary processes to enable remote checks during the Covid-19 period. This allowed for checks by video call, and again introduced a new set of requirements for employers. Once the company returns to work, there is an expectation that a further face to face check will be made on staff recruited during the lockdown period.

Wider Issues

Although Government mandates right to work checks to establish the statutory excuse, there are other very good reasons to check identity during the recruitment process: knowing who is in your business. Whilst a lot of illegal workers are simply trying to get a job for the wages (and work hard at it), Identity fraud can go hand in hand with other fraud. There is no one size fits all for the wider fraudsters, but it can include fake qualifications, an intention to steal (petty theft through to corporate IP), staff or customer data and more. Knowing who is in your business and taking a risk based approach to the checks needed to validate them can protect your business against fraud.

But Isn’t it All a Bit Too Complicated?

Well actually, no!

There are three key issues required for staff who are checking identity: a little knowledge, proper systems and the tools to make the checks easier.

Knowledge acquisition, in the form of training, helps staff feel equipped to make the checks and confident in their abilities. Internal systems should be designed to ensure a consistent process is followed, the checks are made by the appropriate people and records are compliant with the law. Tools can also help – whether the use of those we were born with (eyes, ears and brain) or ore sophisticated electronic validation systems.

We, at Passport Proven, are experts in the end-to-end process. We can audit your current process, we can check your existing records for compliance, we run regular training courses – online for basic knowledge, and face to face for the opportunity to use real and fake documents along with a range of tools – and our online validation technology, when implemented in to your system can provide a streamlined, compliant, process with the added benefit of confirming if you have the statutory excuse.

Jul 23, 2020

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