Employers to conduct digital checks of candidates’ right to work in the UK

Digital right-to-work checks are to be made permanent, the government has announced, following widespread calls to make the temporary measure a longer-term feature.

The change was initially deployed as a temporary measure to aid with remote working in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and was set to end on 5 April this year, following a number of extensions on the initial end date.

However, the government has said digital checks will now continue past this date despite there being concerns about the cost of the digital checks, which could potentially create a “two-tier system” that disadvantages UK nationals. The cost of the digital right-to-work checks is to be funded by employers, with an individual check costing between £1.45 and £70, according to the Home Office. In addition, the costs will only be applied to documents from UK nationals, while the existing free online service can still be used for applications from overseas.

The announcement comes as the government revealed plans to extend its Seasonal Worker Visa route until 2024, allowing overseas workers to come to the UK for up to six months. 30,000 visas will be made available this year for workers in the horticulture sector, with the potential to increase by another 10,000.

121 HR Solutions can assist with visa queries and can be contacted at enquiries@121hrsolutions.co.uk

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