Are you aware of the changes to the Right to Work checks?

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Written by: Alcumus
9th January

The Home Office has announced that from 6 April 2022, the right to work of those who hold a biometric residence card (BRC), biometric residence permit (BRP) or frontier worker permit (FWP) can only be done online.

Employer right to work checks guide

If you need some further guidance on the completing a right to work check, take a look at the Government Guidance

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What will employers need to do from 6 April 2022?

From the 6th of April 2022 employers must carry out a check for individuals holding a BRC, BRP or FWP using the Home Office’s online right to work check service. An employer will no longer be able  to complete a manual right to work check using a physical BRC, BRP or FWP

To find the online right to work check service, click here []

As an employer you will need the individuals date of birth and a valid right to work share code.

Individuals can generate their code by accessing the Governments online system, take a look []

Remember – share codes are only valid for 30 days

It will not be necessary for employers to carry out a retrospective check for employees where a manual check was completed on or before 5 April 2022.

As always, employers must be careful to ensure they carry out the initial right to work check before the date the employment is due to commence, and the follow-up right to work check in line with the timings set out in the Employer right to work checks supporting guidance.

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Why has the Home Office announced this change?

The announcement has been made now to give employers early notice that they will need to change their right to work check processes.

Before 6 April 2022, there are good reasons why employers may consider inviting, but not requiring, a BRC, BRP or FWP holder to allow the employer to carry out an online check rather than a manual one.

Checking BRCs

Currently, a BRC can only be accepted for a manual right to work check where the employer is satisfied the holder has status under the EU Settlement Scheme. The simplest way to verify this is to carry out an online right to work check.

Checking BRPs

BRPs are issued to expire on 31 December 2024, even where an individual’s immigration permission is due to expire after this date. This is because the current encryption technology used in BRPs may need to be upgraded beyond this date. Carrying out an online right to work check avoids the necessity to schedule a follow-up check before the expiry date on the BRP where the person has limited immigration permission. A follow-up check is not required where an individual’s BRP states they have indefinite leave or settled status.

The Home Office was due to make an announcement during 2024 regarding what employers will need to do to verify right to work rights at the follow-up check, but it seems likely this will simply be to do an online check. In any event, employers may prefer to carry out online right to work checks for BRP holders wherever possible to minimise the number of follow-up checks they may need to do at the end of 2024.

Checking FWPs

In most cases, FWPs are issued electronically, so the option to complete a manual check on a physical permit will be rare.