Changes to RTW on 17th May – Back to the Future?

As the lockdown continues to ease, The Home Office have confirmed that the temporary adjustments to the right to work check introduced due to COVID-19 are ending.

Confirmation that retrospective checks will not need to happen is good news

The same cannot be said for the decision to move back to in-person checks from mid-May. The digital checks have hugely benefitted us all – ensuring UK business and our workforces can operate as effectively as possible and respond to spikes in demand 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 We have maintained safety, speeded up outdated methods, enhanced our client experience whilst evidencing better regulatory control and audit trails.

It feels like a step backwards

To follow the prescribed checks from 17th May 2021, as set out in the Home Office guidance, Right to Work Checks: an Employer’s Guide. 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.

On the surface this doesn’t seem to be a well thought out plan

Main reasons:

1: The change is too soon for many businesses who are still under some form of lockdown to easily allow you to see individual’s physical documents.

2: Many businesses are not planning a return to the office instead adopting a hybrid approach which lends itself to using the growing availability of safe, remote RTW checking.

3: The Home Office will allow remote checking if you use their own right to work online service. The new Tech offerings on the market offer the same rigour and safety so, to exclude them, seems unfair.

Recruitment professional bodies advise against the change

With organisations such as the REC, lobbying the Home Office to think again about reinstating these practices in May, Watch this space…COVID-19: Latest information for recruiters :: The REC

One thing we can be sure of is that the future of RTW will continue to bring changes and Brexit is the next hurdle that requires clarification.

You need a flexible strategy to manage these challenge

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

Future proofing your pre-employment screening services

At CDD Services we have built our pre-employment screening software to be future focussed. Our Spotlite apps provide BOTH remote and face to face RTW options including scanning the chips on ePassports 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.

Contact us for a free trial:

Email: [email protected] Or register interest here

Further information on RTW guidelines is available on GOV.UK.

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