Home Office Launches Online Right to Work Checking Service

On 28 January 2019 the Home Office launched an online Right to Work Checking Service. Employers should note that initially this service will only be available for verifying the right to work of some non–EEA and non-Swiss nationals. It will not replace the current right-to-work checks in all other cases.
 
This service will only initially be able to check the right to work for prospective employees who are either:

  • Non-EEA nationals who hold biometric residence permits or biometric residence cards.

  • EEA or Swiss nationals who have been granted settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. EEA nationals who have not been granted settled status under the EEA scheme will still need to demonstrate their right to work through the appropriate documents, such as their national passport, as now.
     

The Home Office has also updated its Code of Practice on Preventing Illegal Working. The Code sets out the necessary checks that employers should make to avoid a civil penalty in the event of illegal working. It also states that employers may establish a statutory excuse against liability for an illegal working civil penalty by carrying out online right to work checks, where applicable.
 
These are voluntary checks and are dependent on the outcome of Brexit. Three possible scenarios are:

  • Brexit goes to plan – Europeans will need an online residency permit by June 2021.

  • Brexit is not agreed – Europeans will need an online residency permit by December 2020.

  • Change of Government and, or Brexit radically changed – effect unknown.
     

To carry out an online right to work BRP or BRC check, you need:

  • a biometric residence permit (BRP) number.

  • a biometric residence card (BRC) number.

  • the candidate’s “share code.”
     

Candidate Consent

It’s important to note that the individual must first view their own Home Office right to work record and then provide consent to the employer. 
 
They may share this information with you if they wish, by providing you with a ‘share code’, which, when entered along with the individual’s date of birth, enables you to access the information. The share code will be valid for 30 days, after which a new code will be required to conduct an online check.
 
If you need any assistance conducting a right to work check, or have any queries or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact Alcumus PSM.
 
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Written by Joanna Dobie, Senior HR Consultant