The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has called for an urgent extension of remote Right to Work (RTW) checks. In a letter to the Home Secretary, APSCo argued that the delay to the easing of restrictions will make a return to physical RTW checks an unnecessary burden for UK business.
Tania Bowers, Legal Counsel and Head of Public Policy at APSCo commented:
“The introduction of digital Right to Work checks during the Coronavirus Pandemic has been an essential lifeline for companies, employers and job seekers. It enabled the UK labour market to maintain its agility during a time when so much of the economy was required to work remotely from home, or frozen entirely under lockdown conditions. The initial extension in May provided the labour market with much needed breathing room as it prepared for what was then believed to be the final phase of the Roadmap out of lockdown on 21st June.
“However, the recent announcement by the Prime Minister that remaining social distancing restrictions would continue for a further four weeks means that employers will be in the unusual position of having to conduct in-person checks whilst there are still restrictions on gatherings and the public is encouraged to work from home where possible.
“While APSCo still maintains that the success of the digital Right to Work checks over the last year should not be ignored and is evidence for permanent change, a minimum of an extension to in-person requirements is now critical.
“We also remain concerned that a change to in-person checks means that UK nationals will be treated differently from non-UK nationals. Proof of Right to Work checks for non-UK nationals are carried out digitally via UK Visas & Immigration, whereas UK national checks are required to be conducted in person. We believe that everyone should be treated equally, and encourage a level-playing field between the foreign and domestic workforces, and we have asked the Home Secretary to take swift action on this matter.”
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