Employers beware – Physical ID checks will be required again when conducting Right to Work in the UK

A timely reprieve on this one for all Employers but still you do need to be aware that the relaxed rules brought in by the Government around Right to Work checks due to Coronavirus the temporary guidance will end now end on 20 June 2021, this was due on 17 May 2021 but has now been extended again by the Government.

Hopefully, this new date should provide enough time for all Employers, from the new date to begin making physical checks of the ID documents for Right to Work in the UK once again.

We have covered what you need to do in this latest news, how to do this, and how we can help you further.

 

What has changed in legislation over the past 12 months and what as an Employer do you need to do?

Main Purpose of the updated rules:

Let’s recap, the UK has now left the European Union, and the Government has made changes to the Immigration Law.

The new Immigration law is now in place from 1 January 2021 and individuals who were residents in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 have until 30 June 2021 to apply for settled status.

There is also a new point-based system, which enables European Citizens (EU) and non-EU citizens to be treated equally and aims to attract people who can contribute to the UK’s economy.

 

Irish Citizens can continue to freely enter, live and work in the UK.

As an Employer if you have any Employees that are EU, EEA or Swiss Citizen and they were resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020, they do not need to apply for a visa under the new points-based system, BUT your Employee and their family should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and they only have until the 30 June 2021 to do so, all applications are free.

Where the application has not been submitted will mean the individual is then residing in the UK illegally as if 1 July 2021.

 

 

What is the New points-based system and How does it Work?

In a nutshell, although a lot more in-depth, the new point-based system includes a route for skilled workers who have a job offer from an Approved Employer Sponsor.

The potential job that has been offered will need to be at a required skill level of Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF3) which is equivalent to A-Level or above.

They will also need to be able to speak English and to be paid a relevant salary threshold of £25,600 or the going rate for the job, whichever is higher.

If they were to earn less than the general salary threshold, but no less than £20,480, they may still be able to apply for trading points on specific characteristics against their salary.

From this new system, there is no general route for Employers to recruit at or near minimum wage.

 

What is the UK Visa Sponsorship for Employers?

Changes now apply to citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland who are Employed by you. As the Employer you will usually need a Sponsor License to employ someone to work within your company from outside the UK.

This will also include unpaid work.

You will not need a license to sponsor certain groups, such as:

  • Irish Citizens
  • Those settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • Those with indefinite leave to remain in the UK

https://www.gov.uk/uk-visa-sponsorship-employers

 

Physical checks ‘will be’ back – All Employers must comply

 

 

How do Individuals Prove their immigration status in the UK?

EU Citizens can use an online service to view their immigration status and to prove their status to others, this can include you as the Employer.

 

This service can be used providing they have either:

 

  • Have a settled or pre-settled status
  • Applied for a visa and
  • ID Check app to scan your identify document on a phone

This service is unavailable if they have a vignette in their passport or a biometric resident permit to prove their immigration status.

Employers, Landlords, and public service providers can continue to accept EU Citizens’ identity cards and passports as evidence of their immigration status until 30 June 2021 only.

Non-EU Citizens

Non-EU Citizens can continue to use physical documents to prove their immigration status. These include:

  • Current Biometric Resident Permits
  • Biometric Residence Card
  • Status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme

 

 

Checking a New Employees right to work in the UK? 

As an Employer legally you must check whether a new Employee can work in the UK before you employ them, you must do this by:

  • Checking the new Employee original documents
  • Check the new Employees right to work online, they would need to provide a share code

https://www.gov.uk/check-job-applicant-right-to-work

For further information, please visit:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-immigration-system-what-you-need-to-know#eu-citizens-who-were-living-in-the-uk-by-31-december-2020

 

What are the risks of not complying with the legislation?

The real statistics on no-compliance are stark, failure to not either conduct Right to Work Checks or to adhere to the correct procedures for an Employer can and does lead to legal proceedings being brought, too many times we hear that Employers consider it the Employees responsibility, as a reminder, it is an offence to employ anyone who does not meet the requirements.

 

This would be if your Employee for example:

 

* Did not have permission to remain in the UK;

* Did have permission to remain but it had expired;

* Is not allowed to do certain types of work; or

* Has incorrect or false papers;

 

In all these instances as an Employer you could be legally prosecuted, with a fine imposed for each offence (Employee) this could lead to a custodial sentence.

As an Employer, you do have up until 20 June 2021 to comply with the rules around physical checking of the documentation, from that date it will become an offence. 

 

How we can help you?

We understand that this can be a pressure and worry for you as an Employer, that is where we can help you, we understand the steps you need to take to ensure you remain legally compliant, whether you just need to chat things through or need more assistance including documentation to support you with your Right to Work checks we can help.

Why not get in touch with a member of the HR and You team today on 0333 006 89489 or email us @ [email protected].

 

Author:

Fran Crossland

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