Updated guidance for employers
on right to work checks

On 21 June 2024, the Home Office issued updated guidance for employers on right to work checks.

The principal updates are as follows.

EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

The guidance confirms that employers no longer have to conduct repeat right to work checks on holders of pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). Accordingly, a check on holders of pre-settled and settled status is only required before the work starts.

In May 2024, the government announced it would extend the duration of pre-settled status extensions from two to five years, and remove the pre-settled status expiry date from the digital profiles shown to third parties in the online checking services for Right to Work, Right to Rent and View and Prove; and also that employers, landlords and letting agents will not be required to conduct a further right to work or rent check where the individual remains in their employment or as part of that tenancy agreement.

Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs)

The guidance clarifies that an employer does not need to re-check an employee’s permission until their permission is due to expire, even if their physical BRP card is due to expire on 31 December 2024.

Physical residence documents are to be phased out by the end of 2024 and replaced with digital proof of immigration status (eVisas).  Therefore, employers may see BRP cards with an expiry date of 31 December 2024, even though the holder has permission to stay in the UK beyond that date.  The holder’s online profile will display the expiry date of their immigration permission.

Where 31 December was taken as the expiry date, a follow up check will be required.

Asylum claimants

The guidance clarifies the requirements for employers of asylum claimants with Application Registration Cards (ARCs) issued as proof that they have made an asylum claim.

Claimants can apply for and may be granted permission to work if their claim has been outstanding for more than 12 months through no fault of their own.

Those granted permission to work on or before 3 April 2024 are restricted to working in jobs on the shortage occupation list. Their ARC will state “work permission shortage OCC”.

Those granted permission to work on or after 4 April 2024 are restricted to working in jobs on the Appendix: Immigration Salary List.  Their ARC will state “Permission to work para 360”.

Employers of asylum claimants can accept an ARC provided that they verify the right to work and any work restrictions by obtaining a Positive verification notice (PVN) issued by the employer checking service (ECN).  This excuse will expire within six months from the date of the PVN, before which expiry date a follow-up check must be carried out if the statutory excuse is to be retained.

Support with immigration compliance

Right to work checks are an essential requirement for all UK employers – they are not optional.

Employers can face a civil penalty of up to £60,000 for each illegally employed worker who does not have the right to work in the UK, or where the correct checks were not undertaken. Businesses could also lose the ability to sponsor migrant workers and even face criminal convictions if they do not comply with the guidelines.

If you have any questions on right to work checks, contact us today to speak to a qualified immigration advisor.

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