News & Insights

A new digital right to work and right to rent validation tool

Digital right to work checks will be introduced to support employers and landlords with right to work, right to rent and pre-employment DBS checks.

Employers and landlords will be able to use certified Identity Service Providers (IDSPs) to carry out digital eligibility checks on behalf of British and Irish citizens who hold a valid passport. This new process is possible through the introduction of Identification Document Validation Technology (“IDVT”). The new technology will enable prospective employees to upload images of their physical right to work documents and have these analysed remotely to verify their identity. IDVT will also be used to carry out right to rent checks instead of presenting physical documents to landlords and thereby will reduce timescales and mitigate any risks involved.

During the pandemic, the Home Office introduced adjusted right to work checks, which have assisted employers to carry out their right to work checking responsibilities without having to handle physical documents. Currently, in addition to hard copy documents, overseas nationals with an immigration status are issued a share code which can be used to carry out real-time checks on an applicant’s eligibility using Home Office systems.

However, although COVID-19 restrictions currently allow individuals to undergo a check based on hard copy documents via video call, this is not considered a sufficiently robust system for permanent arrangements. It is the hope that the use of certified digital identity checking platforms will simplify the process, removing the need for agents to check and record copies of original documents. Furthermore, due to the permanent trend towards hybrid and remote working and pressure from employers, a secure long-term solution is needed to facilitate remote checks.

The new arrangements for approved IDVT are planned to come into force from 6 April 2022. However, it is not yet known whether the technology itself will be ready to deploy by this date. Although it seems clear that individuals will interact with the technology to upload their documents, no details have been provided yet on how employers will access it, and what the cost will be. The cost of using the IDVT is likely to be funded by users, meaning that employers or landlords who choose to use the new system will have to pay to do so. If you would like further information on current right to work, right to rent and pre-employment DBS checks and the proposed changes to them, please contact Imelda Reddington at [email protected]