From 6 April 2022, it will be mandatory for employers to conduct online right to work checks for those individuals with a biometric residence permit or residence card or a frontier worker permit.
This involves employers using the following online service: View a job applicant's right to work details - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). From this date, employers will no longer be able to carry out a manual right to work check for these individuals i.e. they can no longer visually check and take a copy of someone’s physical biometric residence permit for example. Any checks physically carried out for these individuals (rather than online) after 6 April will not be valid - and failure to carry out a valid right to work check can attract hefty fines up to £20,000 per employee.
Also, from 6 April 2022, British and Irish citizens can have their right to work checked on a new online right to work check system. British and Irish citizens will be able to upload a picture or image of their passport or Irish passport via a 'certified Identity Service Provider'.
If an employer wishes to undertake checks this way, a list of certified providers to choose from will be available on the government’s website. There are currently no certified Identity Service Providers listed on the website but it is hoped that this will change over the next weeks/months as organisations become certified and the new system goes live. Employers who wish to use the system will need to pay a fee. Although employers should note that it is not mandatory to use the system from 6 April 2022 and arguably the new system is 'unusable' until some organisations appear on the list of certified Identity Service Providers. Therefore, employers can continue to carry out manual right to work checks in respect of British and Irish citizens for now.
As a gentle reminder to employers, all prospective employees should have their right to work checked prior to them starting employment - including British citizens. The Home Office has published draft updated guidance on these changes which comes into force on Wednesday 6 April 2022: An employer's guide to right to work checks (publishing.service.gov.uk)
From 6 April 2022, all biometric card holders will evidence their right to work using the Home Office online service only. You will no longer be able to accept physical cards for the purposes of a right to work check even if it shows a later expiry date.