Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Are Right to Work checks a burden for your recruiters?

Joshua Welch, Recruitment Industry Specialist

Every business, recruitment and hiring manager needs to ensure their job applicants are legally allowed to work in the UK before employment commences. Failure to carry out the necessary checks is considered a criminal offence - get it wrong and you could face fines of up to £20,000 per illegal worker employed and prison sentences of up to five years. Not to mention untold reputational damage.

From July – September 2019, the Home Office reported 900 individuals were found across the UK without the correct permissions to work, leading to employers being fined more than £10 million. 

With Brexit now firmly fixed for January 2021, there will be a renewed need to ensure the right to work status of employees.

Carrying out Right to Work Checks

Hiring as quickly as possible is a key aim for any recruiter; anything that slows you down can lead to targets being missed. Yet clarifying a potential employee’s right to work in the UK can be a complex and resource-heavy process:

  • There are many documents that may need to be checked, and different combinations of documents can confirm a candidate’s right to work in the UK. The situation can be particularly complex when interpreting identity documents.
  • Many recruitment businesses rely on time-consuming manual processes, such as photocopying documents and storing physical files to comply with Home Office legislation.
  • There’s a thriving market in fake documents such as passports, national ID cards and Biometric Resident Permits that recruiters can struggle to identify without training.
  • The Home Office changes its Right To Work legislation so frequently that trying to keep up with it can be a time-consuming and stressful process.

The only good news in any of this is that recruiters and hiring managers typically make the same mistakes with Right to Work checks. You can find out about the most common four to look out for in this separate article Top 4 mistakes employers make with Right to Work.

How technology can help

Implementing a reliable system and process for essential Right to Work checks will not only save time and money but also protect your business from discrimination claims - and provide a statutory excuse if required. Read our separate blog about How to avoid discrimination when checking Right to Work.

Access Right to Work is an easy to use mobile app and cloud-based management portal.  In less than five steps it confirms an applicant’s eligibility to work in the UK, as well as storing proof of compliance.  It couldn’t be easier to get up and running - just sign up on a pay as you go basis here.

Access Screening covers the full range of checks you may need to run when hiring candidates. It provides fast background checking software, with anytime, anywhere access. It automates and tracks the screening check for each candidate, reduces manual admin, and quickly processes a high volume of documents to improve time to hire.  Access screening includes the Right to Work mobile app.

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