As of 1st October 2022, the right-to-work checks that will apply to organisations across the UK and Ireland are going to change. The changes mean that employers are only going to be able to hire applicants by meeting them in the flesh or using technology that can validate a new hire’s identity by checking various documents.
The Difference Compared to Previous Right-To-Work Checks
When the new right-to-work checks come into force, any business that hires a new employee will either need to meet that employee face to face or have that employee’s ID validated. Businesses are being recommended to use government-certified Identity Service Providers (IDSPs) to carry out the new right-to-work checks. Using ISDPs is not mandatory. Businesses are also going to need to keep records of who they previously hired for two years after that employee has left the company.
All the above changes will be coming into force at the start of October and will affect both British and Irish citizens. The changes were initially implemented in April 2022 but from October the current measures will change slightly as prospective employees are no longer able to send their right-to-work documents over to their employers using an email. This method was only introduced as a temporary measure so that businesses could check documents throughout the lockdown.
Why Are the Changes Taking Place?
The changes are being introduced as there has been an agreement between the government and IDSPs that the soon-to-be former style of checks was too easy to manipulate. Permanent changes are being made in the name of better security over data, as well as improved fraud protection and dedication to complying with GDPR.
Why Do Businesses Need to Get Informed?
If your business hires staff, then you are going to be affected by these changes. It is very important that you stay on top of said changes because a failure to do so will come with several negative consequences. These could include a £20,000 fine as well as businesses getting banned from sponsoring visas for employees from other countries.
Russel King, who is the CEO IDSP Xydus, said how important it is for employers to get up to speed with and stay informed on the process. “The list of potential consequences for getting digital right-to-work checks wrong is worrying for many UK businesses,” he said, “business leaders who feel ill-informed about these changes need to act now”.
These comments were backed up by the sales manager of ID-Pal, Mark O’Hara, who said that getting these processes right before the deadline comes around in October will lead to much smoother onboarding for businesses, resulting in reduced negative consequences. These consequences could include the likes of being unable to get credit, company directors being disqualified, and a hit on profit
Other risks include unwanted media attention which could have a negative impact on a business’s reputation. It’s important that businesses maintain a good reputation in the public eye because if not people might become hesitant about going into business with them in the future.
Staff well-being could also take a hit if people are not ready to comply with the new government rules. This is because if the hiring process becomes difficult and start dates need to be pushed back or a large portion of someone’s onboarding process is verification, the company that person is working for does not show themselves in a very positive light. The way employees feel about a business and employee reputation is a huge factors when it comes to a business’s public image on the whole.
Are Businesses Ready for the Changes?
Despite the clear importance of these changes, it’s surprising how few businesses are ready for them to be implemented. A Reed Screening that was carried out recently confirmed that only around 10% of organisations fully understood the changes. Keith Rosser, who was the director of the screening highlighted the importance of businesses putting in place the necessary processes to ensure they are acting in a way that is compliant. He emphasised that there isn’t long left until the changes come into action and as such, businesses need to get on top of them as soon as possible.
Is Engaging with IDSP Mandatory?
It’s worth noting that engaging with IDSP is only mandatory if you are unable to carry out manual in-person checks for candidates you’re taking on that have a British or an Irish passport. For instance, if you are taking on an employee who will be working entirely remotely and they can’t present their original passport before they start working, you will then have to engage with IDSP. You need to make sure that the checks you run on prospective candidates are robust, not only for the purpose of ensuring they have a right to work but also in the interest of your business as a whole too.
Can Everything Be Outsourced to IDSP?
No, you as a business are still responsible for researching candidates and carrying out their right-to-work checks. The whole point of the IDSP is just to verify whether the documents provided by candidates are authentic. To improve the overall employment process and ensure that you are continuing to avoid it in your recruitment process whilst also adhering to the robust checks necessary with these new rules, you should consider using Artificial Intelligence.
AI is being used more and more in recruitment given it can provide a full breakdown of prospective candidates, their right to work, and why they could be a good fit for your company. Software available such as Yoono can make the entire process a lot more straightforward, whilst still acting in accordance with the new rules imposed by the government.
Preparing for the New Right-to-Work Check Changes
As of 1st October, this year, changes are being made to the right-to-work checks that businesses need to run on new employees. These are being introduced given previous checks were too easy to manipulate and take advantage of. The new rules mean that all businesses will either meet new candidates face to face or will have to go through an IDSP to verify their employee’s identities.
Failure to comply with these new rules could result in a few consequences for the business, including a potential loss of revenue and a damaged reputation. As such, it’s very important that businesses begin getting on top of the changes now.
Organisations are still responsible for their own recruitment and the checks they carry out on employers. The new changes are being implemented as an additional layer of security rather than a complete change to the recruitment system.