Securing work after RTW goes digital on October 1st will be quite a job without an in-date passport

Right to Work checks

Changes to Right To Work checks – In under eight weeks, the Home Office’s new Right to Work changes mean any contractor without an in-date British / Irish passport, or in-date visa, will not be able to get jobs remotely, writes Keith Rosser, chair of the Better Hiring Institute. The background is much brighter. Hundreds of thousands of UK workers (including contractors) have benefitted from temporary right-to-work changes during the covid-19 pandemic. And those changes enabled people to get jobs remotely, online.

For anyone without in-date passports this is all going to change, and soon. In particular, from September 30th 2022, there will be no more right to work checking by video interview.

Hiring done the old-fashioned way

I’m pleased to say I’ve personally helped drive this permanent change to what will be digital right-to-work checks, to enable entirely digital-remote hiring. But there is a gap. Under the current proposed scheme which is centred around the usage of certified digital identity providers, any contractor with an expired British or Irish passport, or any contractor without a passport entirely, will not be included in the scheme. That exclusion means

Passport checks

Digital passports will be needed from 1st Oct 2022

they will be left to have to secure work the old-fashioned way — by attending, in-person, a hirer’s physical office. Unfortunately, delays at the UK Passport Office compound the issue. That’s why I warned ContractorUK readers about this back in May. But the current delays are so extensive that any contractor who is reading this now with a passport soon to expire is very unlikely to be able to renew in time. Not having an in-date passport could cost some contractors that lucrative placement they’ve got their eye on!

Working with the UK government

Research carried out alongside The Open University’s Professor Jon G Hall has identified as many as one in five UK citizens as being without in-date passports. It’s a statistic that becomes worse in the regions of the UK, furthest from the major cities. The previous minister for ‘Levelling Up,’ and the new minister (following the mass resignations that rocked Number 10), both wrote to Home Office on my behalf outlining the issue and the potential solutions. I have been privy to a letter sent to the House of Lords from the Minister of State acknowledging the issue, thanking me for my efforts in transforming digital hiring and — most importantly — agreeing to look at the proposals with the aim of finding a solution before September 30th 2022. So I am hopeful we can still find the answer in time. It would be a great shame for many work-seekers and contractors if a solution cannot be found and quickly implemented.

Finally, first things first – stopping the emergence of second-class job candidates

But more immediately, my sights are fixed on ensuring that work-seekers without valid passports don’t become second-class job candidates. Fortunately, there is a ‘Live Event with UK Home Office’ planned in just four weeks – where employers and others can ask officials any questions about the new scheme. But that September 1st event is too close for comfort to the deadline of September 30th, after which time individuals will no longer be permitted to verify their right to work remotely if they have an expired or out-of-date passport (or birth certificate). Due to the positive sounds so far from The Home Office, I am still confident that we can arrive at a scheme by the deadline that is fair for all.

8th August 2022 – Story courtesy of ContractorUK and written by Keith Rosser (Chair of the Better Hiring Institute)

Right to Work checklist

NRP & FCSA will look after you and your workers when it comes to RTW

New Red Planet – Compliance – FCSA – Security – Changes to Right To Work checks

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