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Upcoming changes in right to work checks continued

Right to work checks on EEA nationals hired from 1st July 2021

Unlike Non-EEA nationals – who receive a physical biometric residence permit (or vignette inside their passport for shorter stays) when receiving a status, EEA nationals with an immigration status from the EU Settlement Scheme or points-based system will not be provided with physical proof of their status. Instead, their right to work will only be able to be verified via the Home Office’s online right to work check service.

By using a share code and date of birth provided by prospective employee, employers may access this portal at Government - Right to Work. The portal will display an image of the prospective employee and confirm their working permission. As with physical document checks, employers must still verify the likeness of the person presenting for work against the photograph in the portal to ensure that they are the same individual, however as there is no physical document this does not necessitate meeting the employee in person – a live video link is sufficient. Employers are also required download and keep a copy of the portal for the duration of the worker’s employment and for two years following, in addition to noting the expiry date of any working permission to ensure follow-up right to work checks are carried out before expiry of the visa.

Right to work checks on UK and Non-EEA nationals

Right to work checks on UK and non-EEA nationals remain largely unchanged, with the most notable change being non-EEA nationals who are family members of EEA nationals no longer being able to use their Biometric Residence Card with this endorsement as proof of right to work. Instead, they provide a valid immigration status – whether through the EU Settlement Scheme or points-based system to evidence their right to work for which they should receive a new biometric residence document.

It has however been noted that under existing guidance, UK nationals are uniquely disadvantaged in verifying their right to work in the UK. Many non-EEA nationals hold biometric residence permits, which can also be verified remotely using the online right to work check service using the process described above, though employers must still perform a physical document check if preferred by the prospective employee. UK nationals, and a relatively small number of non-EEA nationals without biometric residence documentation, do not have the option of a remote check however. In order for an employer to verify their right to work in the UK they are required to si and take copies of their original documentation in person. With the increased prevalence of remote working this leaves this group heavily disadvantaged.

At present the Home Office have not released details on how checks on UK and non-EEA nationals may change in the short or long term. The Advisory Bureau will closely monitor releases in this area and will report on any changes announced.

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