From this Saturday 1 October 2022, digital right to work checks can be carried out for British and Irish nationals.
To do this, employers need to sign up to an Identification Service Provider (IDSP) or become one themselves. IDSPs will only be able to verify valid British & Irish passports/cards. The Home Office has a list of accredited IDSPs on its website.
It is worth noting that the employer will retain legal responsibility whilst using the IDSP and there is no legal defence to any illegal working penalties simply because an IDSP was used.
As an employer, you also cannot enforce the use of an IDSP check – manual checks do remain an option for British and Irish nationals. In addition, if you don't wish to sign up to an IDSP or become one, you can carry on with manual right to work checks for British and Irish nationals.
Why was this introduced? According to the UK Government, it was introduced with a view to reduce the cost of recruitment on businesses, reduce time spent undertaking right to work checks, align the process for checking British and Irish nationals right to work with the 'New Plan for Immigration', reduce the risk of discrimination by normalising the process and making it easier to tackle immigration.
This is also your reminder that COVID-19 adjusted checks end tomorrow and manual right to work checks must be conducted in person again.