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Employment: Vetting

Question for Home Office

UIN HL1254, tabled on 21 June 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether digital IDs would (1) speed up the process, and (2) create an even playing field, for determining the right to work of (a) UK nationals, and (b) foreign nationals seeking to work in the UK; and what assessment they have made of the potential benefits of digital IDs for UK workers who lack a passport or driver’s licence.

Answered on

5 July 2021

We recognise the benefits increased digital checking capability could provide as employers move towards an increase in hybrid and remote working business models.

The Home Office’s online right to work checking service has been in operation since April 2018. It enables employers to undertake free digital checks on prospective employees with a valid biometric residence card or permit, status under the EU Settlement Scheme or the new Points-Based System, and those granted a BNO visa.

Since January 2019, employers have been able to rely on the online right to work checking service to check a prospective employee’s immigration status. From then until the end of March 2021, there were over 1.3 million views by individuals and over 390,000 views by employers carrying out right to work checks digitally.

We are currently evaluating the potential for introducing the option for employers to use specialist technology, including identity document validation technology, to support right to work checks. This may provide a permanent digital option for those unable to use the Home Office online checking service, including UK and Irish citizens.

We are discussing with representatives from employer groups the value of such technology, whilst ensuring we maintain the security and integrity of our system in the long-term.

Answered by

Home Office