Letter to Priti Patel highlights members’ concerns
Responding to the news that Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced the return, on 17th May, of physical right to work checks, the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), has written to the Home Secretary to highlight major concerns over both the date of the change and the decision to dispense with the Covid remote video checks that have worked so well over the last year.
“The short deadline for the return to in person checks is a real concern given that we are expecting the Government ‘work from home if you can’ advice to remain in place into June – introducing face to face checks when people are still working remotely is simply unworkable,” said Tania Bowers, APSCo’s Legal Counsel and Head of Public Policy.
“Additionally, we had hoped that the Home Office would prioritise the expansion of digital checks – a process much more suitable for the modern world of flexible work – it also flies in the face of the Home Office’s ‘digital by design’ concept."
APSCo argues that there are six major reasons not to end remote Right to Work checks – even after all Covid restrictions are lifted:
- A return to physical checks would seriously hamper a modern, agile labour market by enforcing location-based hiring
- Face to face checks mandates travel in order to provide physical documents at a time when the guidance is still to work from home if you can – or it mandates posting of sensitive documents heightening the risk of identity fraud.
- There is already an online checking service via a share code for EU nationals which can be remote and for non-EU workers through the Government Employer Checking Service. However, the - - Passport Office has no online service for UK nationals which disproportionately disadvantages UK workers.
- Face to face screening creates a big barrier for business who are not yet (who may have never) worked in the old ways of full physical locations.
- Scrapping remote screening could stop a rise in employment by limiting choice and access.
- Physical checking does not mean safer. People are not as good as technology is at spotting fraudulent documents.
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