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Tony Machin


Tony has led TrustID through a transformation program of significant upgrades in technology and services, delivering year on year growth. With previous experience in corporate finance and as CEO of a leading UK financial services organisation, he brings strong leadership and excellent knowledge of compliance and regulatory matters. In 2018 Tony joined a group of like-minded identity validation experts and founded the Association of Document Validation Professionals (ADVP). He was chair of the organisation from its creation until the end of 2020.

How online validation can help with Right to Work during Covid-19

Illustration of a man and a woman on their phones participating in identity document checks

As ‘social distancing’ continues to enforce remote working and a lack of face-to-face contact, this clearly presents many challenges to businesses, including those who need to verify the identity of their staff or customers.

However, you may be aware that, as of 30th March, the government has introduced some temporary changes to support businesses who are recruiting during these challenging times.

What has changed? 

From 30th March, legislation surrounding Right to Work checks has been temporarily amended due to the circumstances surrounding Covid-19. Full details can be found here.
The main takeaways from this announcement are designed to ensure that new recruits don’t need to leave their home to verify their documents during this pandemic and include the following:

  • You may now ask the worker to submit a scanned copy or photo of their original documents to you via email or using a mobile app
  • You can then arrange a video call with the employee – ask them to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents

The remaining requirements around Right to Work remain the same, in terms of record keeping and ensuring that the documents you are seeing from List A and List B allow the holder to work in the UK. Employers should continue to use the Employer Checking Service if a candidate or existing employee cannot provide any of the accepted documents, for example, due to a pending application with the Home Office.
It is still an offence to knowingly employ anyone who doesn’t have the correct UK immigration status, so you should still take all possible steps to protect your organisation from illegal workers. The revised guidelines also make it clear that, as these adjusted Right to Work checks are temporary, employers need to conduct the normal full checks once the temporary measures come to an end. The government have not yet set an end date but will notify employers via their published guidance and give them an 8-week window to carry out a full retrospective check, including seeing the original document in person.

How can electronic checks help?

Many organisations will usually rely on a face-to-face, visual inspection of an identity document to verify the Right to Work status of their employees. During these temporary measures, however, they will obviously find it much more challenging to effectively and reliably assess a document without seeing the original. So, many organisations are asking us how electronic checks can help:

  • Reliably validate a document image
    Electronic validation services, such as TrustID cloud allow you to upload a document image onto our secure website, using your computer or via a mobile App. Our service then checks security features and algorithms to assess the authenticity of a document. The service is also backed up by our expert document team to give you extra protection from fraudulent documents and additional peace of mind if you do see a suspicious document
  • Save time
    An online validation service returns a document assessment within minutes. Our validation service returns a report for your records within 1 hour and our helpdesk is open 7 days a week – perfect if you’re looking to onboard quickly.
  • Don’t waste your investment
    According to the amended guidelines, once you run a retrospective right to work check after temporary measures come to an end, you must immediately stop the employment of any employee who you discover doesn’t have permission to work in the UK. However, as we don’t know how long the restrictions will be in place, this could mean investing in an employee for
    several months, only to get rid of them once the pandemic has passed. Validating a copy of their document at the point of employment will highlight anything suspicious before they start their employment.
  • Provide a short-term solution
    TrustID Cloud is sold on a pay-per-check model, with our minimum order during this period set at just 50 credits. So, if you want to amend your process for the next few weeks or months only, the service gives you a straightforward way to do so with no long-term contract.

These pragmatic measures by the government are designed to make Right to Work checks easier in these difficult times. If you’d like to discuss how our services can support you to implement process changes, even just for the short-term, please get in touch.

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