The UK Government has made is making it easier for businesses to comply with their legal duty to ensure that all employees are legally entitled to work in the UK with its free online right to work checking service.
Under section 34 the Immigration Act 2016, employers have a legal duty to ensure that all employees have the legal right to work in the UK and can face a civil penalty if they fail to do so.
Previous to the latest announcement regarding the online checking system the employer was required to collect original documents to evidence this check but this new change enables workers and employers to validate the right to work online through the government website.
Employers can now use the new system to demonstrate that they have completed the checks.
The service remains voluntary for both employers and workers but it certainly seems to make sense to use this portal and this make prove particularly useful to SME’s across the UK with employers now needing to obtain authorisation from employees and potential employees to conduct the check rather than collecting and verifying all the relevant documents.
Immigration Minister and MP for Romsey and Southampton North, Caroline Noakes commented;
This is another step we are taking to simplify and modernise the immigration system. The online Right to Work Checking Service makes the checks simpler for employers and provides greater security as they no longer need to rely on physical documents when checking migrants’ status, further reducing the risk of forged documents being presented.
Above all, our new checking service makes it easier than ever for migrants to view and prove their right to work in the UK.
For individuals, the system can be used by non-EEA nationals who hold biometric residence permits or biometric residence cards and EEA nationals who have been granted settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. It will mean that they only have to register on the service rather than providing the documents to every employer or potential employer.