Are you ready for the changes to RTW?

Are you ready for the changes to RTW? – digital checks to stay until 31st August – And maybe the new normal! As the lockdown measures are in sight, The Home Office have extended the temporary adjustments to the right to work check, introduced due to COVID-19, until 31st August and they are coming under increasing pressure to embrace the digital change.

No Retrospective Checks is good news

The same cannot be said for the likelihood of moving back to in-person checks from September. This unpopular decision has been pushed back twice following industry lobbying and growing political pressure. The digital checks have been hugely successful for us all – ensuring UK business and our workforces could operate as effectively as possible, whilst responding to recruitment spikes in demand for hundreds of thousands of workers during the pandemic.
As our businesses and employees have adapted to working from home, we have piloted technological advancements to digitally complete right to work checks, and the system works. We have maintained safety, speeded up outdated methods, enhanced both our client and candidate experience whilst evidencing better regulatory control and audit trails.

It feels like a step backwards

To follow the prescribed checks from 1st September, as set out in the Home Office guidance, means that a scanned copy or a photo of an original document will no longer provide a defence against liability for a civil penalty. You need to return to seeing original versions. This now seems completely out of step with the digital advances made by the economy due to the pandemic, and the risk of employment fraud is rarely mitigated by in-person checks but anti-impersonation and fraud technology does add a higher level of deterrence.

On the surface this does not appear to be a winning strategy

With furlough layoffs looming we will see a rise in the numbers of talented unemployed and underemployed workers whilst other key sectors will be desperately short of staff. Many of these individuals will engage in the gig economy not necessarily locally. Some may even choose to stay there. That means greater recruitment flexibility, rapidity and remote digital services will be needed, well beyond September, to help drive any economic recovery strategy.
Placing logistical and administrative hurdles in front of UK workers and adding cost and delay to recruiters seems illogical for numerous reasons:
Helping businesses re-staff and be more productive quicker, whilst getting UK citizens back into work more rapidly, earning a living and paying their taxes has to be the better strategy.

Recruitment professional bodies oppose the change

When organisations such as the British Institute of Recruiters are uniting with the growing number of business leaders and parliamentary voices calling for the Home Office to think again about reinstating these practices, we hope the wisdom is recognised and not ignored.

Is your compliance strategy flexible enough?

Technology solutions are safer, quicker, and more robust than photocopying and placing copies in files. Given the fluidity of regulation and policy this really needs serious consideration when choosing a tech partner: Ensure that they are compliance experts and that the tech is agile enough to rapidly adapt to any further regulation changes.

Future proof your screening compliance

The right tools may be the key to successfully navigating the challenges ahead. Some businesses will continue to struggle while others may come out of this stronger, more agile, and ready to face the future. CDD Services want to help and have built our Spotlite pre-employment compliance platform to be future focused with no IT change. The Spotlite apps provide personalised and auto-guided RTW experiences for BOTH remote and face to face checks including biometric anti-impersonation, 3rd party data options and scanning the chips on e-Passports to help detect forgeries.
Hopefully, it won’t take too long for government to join up its own dots. In the meantime, you have to wonder how the Home Office can enforce a failure to implement manual RTW Checks when recruiters are using accepted technology comparable to the government’s own check standards.
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Further information on RTW guidelines is available on GOV.UK

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