One step further into the digital age
Earlier this year we reported on the extension of digital Right to Work (RTW) checks for UK Nationals until September 2021. However, a recent update from the Home Office details the adjusted checks have now been extended until 5th April 2022. In the update the Home Office said the decision was made following “positive feedback” about “the ability to conduct checks remotely”. This is a much welcomed and progressive move forward, fueled by the digital age and pandemic. Many workers and businesses have been campaigning for this digital solution. Now it seems their persistence is slowly paying off. Although this second extension doesn’t signal a promise to abolish in-person checks for good, it certainly marks a step in the right direction.
The extension to the digital RTW process will undoubtedly benefit workers and businesses alike over the next 6 months. This will be even more relevant if Covid infection rates continue to increase into the winter.
A key benefit of the digital RTW checks is the increased efficiency. Recruitment industry body the REC maintains that a digital check takes around 5 minutes. This is drastically short when compared to an in-person check that can take up to 45 minutes. This is a substantial amount of time saved by a simple online solution. Digital RTW checks also provide potential employees with more freedom and outreach for employment. This is due to the fact potential employees or contractors are no longer restricted by travel or location, since they no longer have to travel to hand in documents in person. Digital checks therefore make for a more inclusive recruitment approach. Candidates now won’t be alienated for not having the time and availability to travel to a work destination.
Pandemic lessons learnt
The pandemic has turned the world upside down and had an impact on every working sector. Yet many positive lessons have been learnt, including the efficiency of hybrid working systems. It’s now clear after 18 months that people can work from home and still be productive and efficient. During and after the pandemic, many roles have not required a physical office presence. With many systems now based online, why still enforce a need for physical RTW checks that can be quickly checked online? In response to the digital RTW check extension, Ken Steers, a director at multi-sector recruiter Cordant Group, said “Common sense has prevailed.”
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