University HR teams will no doubt be aware of the 'temporary adjustments' to the rules on conducting right to work checks that were introduced in March 2020 as part of the Home Office's response to Coronavirus (Covid-19). The concession was due to end on 6 April 2022, but this was postponed to 30 September 2022 following the Government’s announcement that employers could use identification document validation technology (IDVT) to conduct right to work checks on holders of current British and Irish passports.
The decision to defer the end date was to allow employers to continue with post-pandemic working practices whilst either making arrangements to re-introduce measures for conducting face to face document checks or engaging an identity services provider (IDSP) to conduct checks using IDVT to on their behalf.
In our recent immigration update webinar for HEIs we polled attendees about their universities' intentions to use IDSPs to conduct right to work checks. Nearly 24% of respondents were from universities that have signed up with an IDSP already; over 55% were still looking into it, while almost 10% had decided that they would not be using an IDSP.
As of 1 October 2022, employers must carry out one of the following prescribed checks before employment commences:
By conducting any of these checks in accordance with the Home Office's guidance, universities will obtain a statutory excuse which protects them against a civil penalty.
VWV's eLearning series, HR & Employment Law for Managers includes a module on conducting right to work checks. Further details can be found here.