Digital right-to-work checks were initially introduced as a temporary procedure, to aid with the widespread remote working resulting from UK lockdowns. The measure was set to end in April this year.
However, the government have now announced that digital checks will continue past this date.
With the staffing crisis upon us and the new variant spreading rapidly, the move is set to be welcomed by many employers. The system is regarded by most as quicker and easier, reducing the time it take candidates to get into work, and minimising face to face contact.
However, Jonathan Beech, managing director of Migrate UK, said the change would mean that employers would no longer be able to accept physical biometric residence cards, even if they are yet to expire.
“From 6 April 2022, Biometric Residence Card (BRC), Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and Frontier Worker Permit (FWP) holders will need to evidence their right to work using the online service only,” he explained. He added that UK nationals currently do not fall within the scope of digital checks, but that the government was working on phasing out physical document checks: “The UK digital identity and attributes trust framework starts rolling out in January 2022 and may well be ready in time for 6 April, which means that all employers must adhere to the digital checks for all nationalities.”
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