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The Home Office has introduced a new online checking service to help you conduct your right to work checks. It will also be used for establishing the right to work of EU workers post Brexit.

Employer’s duty

All employers in the UK have a responsibility to prevent illegal working. You do this by conducting right to work checks on all your new recruits before they start work. Having carried out the check, you will then have a “statutory excuse” against liability for a civil penalty in the event you are found to have employed someone who is not legally allowed to work here by reason of their immigration status.  If you are found to be employing someone illegally and you have not carried out the prescribed checks, you may face sanctions including a civil penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker.

What is new?

The Home Office has introduced online right to work checks and amended the acceptable document list to remove the requirement that a British birth certificate must be the full (long) certificate. A short or a long UK birth certificate are now acceptable documents to demonstrate a right to work in combination with an appropriately documented national insurance number. The Home Office has also updated the Employer’s Guide to Right to Work Checks, which you can access here.


How does the online checking service work?


The new online checking service works on the basis of the employee first viewing their own Home Office right to work record and then providing you with an access code which you then use to log into the employer part of the service. The Home Office has an audit record of online checks conducted by employers using the service which will provide the statutory excuse. You don’t have to use the online service – if you prefer, you can continue to use the existing manual 3-step ‘obtain- check- copy’ process. You can access the updated Home Office guidance here.


What documentation will EU workers need to show post Brexit?


Any EU workers who successfully apply for settled status under the new EU Settlement Scheme will be able to prove their status/right to work via this online service. However, at the time of writing, EU workers are also able to demonstrate their right to work by presenting their EU passport or ID card.  They will continue to be able to do so – and you will be able to rely on this to meet your right to work check obligations – until the end of the planned implementation period, currently 31 December 2020.


How we can help?

Learn more about the new EU settlement scheme, right to work checks and the UK’s post Brexit future skills-based immigration system by coming along to our immigration seminars running next month. Click here to book your place.

News / Media news and insight / HR & Legal / Immigration