Date of publication: 23rd February, 2022
Summary of the intelligence received
In September 2021, the IMA received intelligence concerning the Employer Checking Service website and processes that employers would need to follow in order to check employees right to work where they are not in possession of a UK passport or digital share code (ie PSS or SS).
Concern was raised over inconsistency of statements, which may have led to confusion for employers who were using the service.
Additionally, there was concern that the website may have been misleading for employers when considering whether they need to undertake retrospective checks on EU, EEA and EFTA citizens, who had already been employed by them prior to July 2021.
There was concern that these issues may have led to penalisation or exclusion from employment for EU, EEA and EFTA citizens with rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.
Summary of Actions and Evidence
Having carefully considered the issues identified from the intelligence gathered by the IMA, pre-inquiry investigations were undertaken with Home Office to seek clarity around the concerns shared.
The Home Office detailed the steps taken to address the concerns raised by the IMA.
The Home Office took steps to update the Employer Checking Service website to ensure that these issues were resolved fully.
Summary of Decision
The Home Office have carried out the following updates to the Employer Checking Service website to resolve the issues raised:
- The issues concerning the inconsistency in wording of questions has been resolved and the update implemented. This will help ensure that the process for users is not confusing or misleading.
- The wording of a single statement found on the website has been updated to ensure that it is accurate.
- The opening landing page on GOV.UK has been reviewed to provide employers’ guidance on retrospective checks and that any checks should be done in a non-discriminatory manner.
Summary of Monitoring and Compliance
The IMA considers that the actions proposed will resolve the potential systemic concerns identified.
However, should the IMA receive any further intelligence or complaints regarding the issue in future, further enquiries may be made with the Home Office, wherever necessary.