Posted on 11 July 2022

With a new watershed rule change issued from the Home Office, companies in the healthcare sector are scrambling to come to terms with how this affects recruitment. The guidance becomes law in 2022 – and just like the GDPR changes of the last decade – this will have a dramatic effect on how agencies verify identification, documents, and other ID. With the issues relating to coronavirus, the government allowed relaxed laws in terms of how people were verified with their identification, particularly remotely. In autumn of this year (1 October), recruiters and employers won’t be able to use the Covid nuanced guidance. In reality, employers will no longer be able to ask potential employees to remotely share scanned documents to and then visually confirm via a virtual interview.

Informative website CIPHR expertly clarified the state of play with new Right to Work guidance, “From 6 April 2022, the updated guidance states that Biometric Residence Permits (BRP), Biometric Residence Cards (BRC) or Frontier Worker Permits (FWP) are no longer acceptable as proof of right to work”. This means BRC, BRP and FWP holders will have to go through the Home Office’s own verification system. From that time, employers are permitted to use services which offer Identity Service Provider status to have official screening, checks and balances.

A change in guidance is particularly posed to reduce the potential of citizens without permits to be able to work in the UK, something which has come with the windfall change with the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. A right to work check is a legal requirement which employers must do to verify the immigration status of applicants before they are offered employment. There are tall orders for those who bypass this mechanism with companies facing penalty from a warning, all the way up to a five-year prison term for knowingly employing an illegal worker. From autumn this year, two types of right to work checks will exist: a digital check (via an IDSP or the Home Office checking service) and a manual check (in person). This follows some £400,000 worth of fines issued in 22 separate penalties for over 32 illegal works in the last half of 2021 alone - just in London and the South East. By far, the most penalties issued for illegal work is designated to London, a central hub for international travel and close routes to EU countries by plane, car and ferry.

There are several blanket changes. Here’s a rundown;

For British and Irish citizens;

  • From 6 April, British and Irish biometric passports and Irish passport cards can be digitally checked through an accredited IDSP

  • Out-of-date British and Irish passports are not permitted for digital checks​ but can be accepted as evidence of right to work if they are checked manually

For non-British and Irish citizens with eVisas;

  • The right to work status must be confirmed by the Home Office via a right to work share code check

  • From 6 April, BRCs and BRPs are no longer permitted as evidence of right to work

It will take time for employers to grasp the new guidance and potential applicants to jump through additional hoops. However, the laws are there for a reason, to safeguard UK citizens who wish to pursue employment with their rightful qualification and citizenship.

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