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Almost a third of UK employers believe loyalty cards are acceptable right to work ID

Almost a third of UK employers believe loyalty cards are acceptable right to work ID

Close to half of employers surveyed by Xydus, a certified identity service provider (IDSP) and agent for the UK’s new digital right to work checks, are not prepared for the new legislation’s 1 October deadline, meaning they would be unable to hire foreign workers. The survey also revealed significant areas of ignorance surrounding the ID checks.

The changes mean that all UK businesses must use certified IDSPs for digital right to work checks for all UK employees.

Overall, awareness of the legislation to conduct tests was high, at 96 percent of the 501 businesses surveyed over the summer being aware of upcoming changes, while 48 percent were still unprepared. This could leave them non-compliant, which would impact their ability to hire foreign workers or worse: there is potential jail time for company directors. Seventy-eight percent were unaware of the possibility of jail time for noncompliant hiring.

Xydus, which appointed Censuswide to conduct a survey of 501 senior decision makers from companies with more than a thousand employees, presents a range of uncomfortable findings for post-Brexit Britain and the new tools of digital checks.

Seventy-two percent of those surveyed believed driving licenses were sufficient for right to work checks, which they are not. Only digital images of personal documents using ID validation technology can be used. Thirty-seven percent believed documents could be submitted by email, 30 percent by Zoom and almost a third believed loyalty cards and library cards were valid identity credentials.

Four percent were unaware of any legal changes. Beyond that, three percent claimed to not even conduct any right to work checks which, extrapolated to the overall UK business sector, could mean more than 500 large firms are seriously noncompliant.

Also noncompliant would be the 46 percent of financial sector employers, 41 percent of healthcare organizations and 38 percent of manufacturing firms which believe right to work checks can be done at welcome meetings after an employee has started the job.

Noncompliant hiring could carry a civil penalty of £20,000 (US$23,000) per hire.

“The list of potential consequences for getting digital Right to Work checks wrong is worrying many UK businesses,” comments Russell King, CEO of Xydus. “This research reinforces what we’ve seen and heard for quite some time, that many businesses still have a wide knowledge gap on the details and implications of these major changes in RTW legislation.”

Sterling Check was recently certified to carry out right to work checks, as was Yoti. The Tony Blair Institute has proposed digital ID cards to close off employment to those without the legal status to work in the UK.

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