Firms ignorant over 'right to work' changes

Research has uncovered widespread unawareness among UK employers over changes over the Right to Work verification rules for employees that come into effect at the end of this month.

Certification for quality control, which ensures that the company product meets its standards On the virtual screen
A survey by Xydus - a Government-certified identity service provider (IDSP) empowered to carry out the new digital checks - found that although 96 per cent of employers were aware of the impending changes, almost half admitted they were still not ready for the September 30 deadline.
Related reading from Relocate Global

Temporary measures end

The current, modified Right to Work (RTW) scheme was introduced in March 2020 because of the pandemic. It temporarily eased the burden on employers of having to check physically RTW documents because of the need for employees to work from home.Global law firm DLA Piper pointed out in a report this week: "From October 1 onwards, employers will need to re-introduce original document checks. This means reverting to in-person checks and, for many employers with fully remote workforces, immediate thought needs to be given as to how this will be addressed. For some, third-party Identity Service Providers may provide a solution; however, be aware that these are not a complete answer – significant limitations apply."One of those limitations, DLA Piper pointed out, was that individuals’ RTW documentation could not be checked by an IDSP for those with indefinite leave to remain or in the UK on a visa.The law firm added: "Employers should also take note that using an IDSP does not relieve them of their responsibility to conduct a check. The use of an IDSP only removes the need to see the original right to work document. All other checks, such as verifying the individual’s appearance with that of the document they have provided, must still be carried out by the employer in order to obtain a statutory excuse."

Compliance and Right to Work checks

The Xydus survey of more than 500 company executives exposed what it described as "a widespread knowledge gap" among UK businesses over October’s changes.While four per cent remained completely unaware of any legal changes, another three per cent admitted conducting no RTW checks at all. Worse, perhaps, was that almost three-quarters believed driving licences were compliant with RTW checks, despite the fact they never have been.Russell King, CEO of Xydus said: “The list of potential consequences for getting digital Right to Work checks wrong is worrying many UK businesses.“This research reinforces what we’ve seen and heard for quite some time: that many businesses still have a wide knowledge gap on the details and implications of these major changes in RTW legislation. It is not too late, there are easy-to-adopt options for UK employers who now need to introduce digital identity checks."

Read a round-up of recent articles by David Sapsted. Subscribe now to Think Global People magazine and read David's insights on the latest developments to free trade agreements and global skills shortages

Subscribe to Relocate Extra, our monthly newsletter, to get all the latest international assignments and global mobility news.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online Directory