Digital right to work verifications are a great way for employers to check the immigration status of British and Irish citizens who are not available on the Home Office's online service. The Home Office's right to work verification service, available on GOV (UK), provides employers with access to up-to-date, real-time information on migrants' right to work, making it easier for people to demonstrate their rights in the UK. This service is voluntary for both employers and individuals. Migrants can demonstrate their right to work using the existing document verification service or the online verification service.
Individuals can authorize their current or potential employer to view information about their immigration status for verification and will be able to see exactly what information will be shared. It is important to note that some people may only be allowed to perform certain types of jobs, which are called “scarcity occupations”. If this is the case, the ARC will say “SOL” and you can check if your work is included in the list of occupations with scarcity on GOV, UK. A digital right to work verification allows employers to use identity document validation (IDVT) technology through a certified identity service provider (IDSP) to complete the digital identity verification aspect of right-to-work checks for British and Irish passport holders. Employers should only employ the person, or continue to employ an existing employee, if they are performing a follow-up check and if the online verification confirms that they have the right to work and are not subject to a condition that prevents them from performing the work in question.
If employers are found to be hiring a potential illegal worker and are unable to provide evidence to prove that they have the right to work, they can be punished with a civil penalty. It should also be possible to carry out a manual check for foreign citizens who are unable to prove their right to work through the online verification system. However, the UCheck platform itself does not determine if a potential employee is eligible to work in the UK or not. The online right to work verification service is a service of the Ministry of the Interior that allows employers to electronically view a foreign citizen's right to work history using a shared code provided by the employee. When it comes to performing digital right-to-work checks through an IDSP, the responsibility for verification remains with the employer, who must ensure that the IDSP selected to complete the identity verification aspect of the verification performs a prescribed verification before the start of employment. This means employers will have to check again in order to keep their legal excuse, usually when the person's permission to reside in the UK expires.
IDPs can carry out digital identity verification with varying levels of trust (LoC), so employers are recommended to only accept checks through an IDSP that meet a minimum of a “medium LoC”. If retrospective verification confirms that an employee is not entitled to work, employers must take appropriate steps in order to avoid a civil penalty for working illegally from the Ministry of the Interior. If a prospective employee has a permanent right to work and an employer successfully completes a right-to-work check before their employment begins, they will establish an ongoing legal excuse for the period of their employment with them. Employers will be able to rely on an online right-to-work verification service in order to demonstrate compliance with illegal labor legislation. It is important for employers to remember that they will need to check other things in order to see if their dismissal is unfair, such as how long they have worked for their employer.