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Changes to illegal working secondary legislation - right to work checks and Licensing Act 2003 prescribed licence application forms

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Changes to illegal working secondary legislation - right to work checks and Licensing Act 2003 prescribed licence application forms 19th December 2018

Changes to illegal working secondary legislation


On 13 December, the Immigration Minister made a written Ministerial statement about changes to illegal working secondary legislation to make provision for online right to work checks. This statement is available via www.parliament.uk


The measures will come into effect on 28 January 2019, and include some changes to statutory application forms for personal and premises licences for sale and supply of alcohol and late night refreshment. These changes are consequential amendments, which are made to reflect changes to illegal working secondary legislation, which make provision for online right to work checks in the prescribed checks conducted by employers to prevent illegal working. The regulations making changes to the relevant licence application forms are available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/1381/contents/made.


Online right to work checking service


As part of its efforts to support those who conduct right to work checks, including employers and Licensing Authorities, the Home Office has developed the online right to work checking service, which makes right to work checks simpler and more secure. The service enables UK employers and Licensing Authorities to check the current right to work, in real time, of a person who holds either a biometric residence permit (BRP) or a biometric residence card (BRC), or who holds online immigration status issued under the EU Settlement Scheme, and to see whether they are subject to any restrictions. It does this by linking to Home Office data. 


The system works on the basis of the individual first viewing their own Home Office right to work record. They may then share this information with an employer or Licensing Authority if they wish, by providing the ‘share code’ issued to them by the online service. By entering the share code and the applicant’s date of birth, the employer or Licensing Authority will be able to access the individual’s current right to work details. This includes the date of expiry, if the individual’s right to work is time-limited, and any work-related conditions.


The online right to work checking service is available at https://www.gov.uk/view-right-to-work.


Online checks will be voluntary for the time being – applicants, or employees, may choose to demonstrate their right to work through either an online check or the existing document-based check.


The Order also amends the list of documents that are acceptable for the purposes of demonstrating a right to work, as part of the existing document-based check, to include a short British birth or adoption certificate (removing the requirement that this is the full certificate), when presented in combination with an appropriately documented National Insurance number.


Changes to licence application forms


The relevant application forms have been amended to allow applicants to demonstrate their right to work by:


- including a copy of their short British birth certificate, when in combination with an appropriately documented National Insurance number; or

- providing the ‘share code’ allowing the relevant Licensing Authority to conduct an online right to work check.


Word versions of the application forms on GOV.UK will be updated before these changes come into force in January.



Taxi and private hire vehicle licence applications


The above changes are made to the statutory licence application forms for personal and premises licences for sale and supply of alcohol and late night refreshment. Application forms for taxi and private hire vehicle licences are not statutory, and for this reason equivalent legislative changes are not required. However, Licensing Authorities may allow applicants to demonstrate their right to work by using the Home Office online right to work checking service, if the applicant wishes to do so.


Guidance to Licensing Authorities on conducting right to work checks in considering applications for alcohol and late night refreshment licences, and taxi and private hire vehicle licences, will be revised and circulated in advance of the measures coming into force on 28 January 2019. 



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