The UK government has made the Post Office and identity verification platform Yoti the first certified digital identity service providers (IDSP) to carry out right to work checks across the country.
Employers will be able to use IDSPs to verify the identity of British and Irish citizens, preventing illegal workers.
Businesses are at risk of being fined £20,000 per illegal worker they employ.
Both companies have developed free apps – the Post Office EasyID and the Yoti digital ID – to make it easier for employees to prove they have a right to work in the country.
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The apps allow workers to share a verified image of their passport from their Digital Identity, which is then stored by their employers.
Elinor Hull, identity services director at Post Office, said that the new right to work checks will benefit employees as well as businesses.
Speaking to HR magazine, she said: “Many businesses are finding it difficult to recruit vacant positions and the last thing they need are delays in getting their preferred candidate’s identity verified. Almost half of UK consumers polled have said they don’t like it when businesses take a photocopy of their ID.
“So many of us manage our daily lives via our smartphone and being able to quickly and securely prove your Right to Work via smartphone will be attractive to many prospective employees.
“This helps reduce the employer’s risk of misplacing a candidate’s personal data and faster verification of a candidate’s identity should enable businesses to on-board new employees quicker than before.”
Digital right to work checks were made permanent in April 2022, having first been introduced in 2020 when lockdown restrictions were in place.
John Abbott, chief commercial officer at Yoti, added: “Ensuring employees are legally permitted to work is essential. Being one of the first IDSPs to be certified shows our commitment to the market and is a testament to the quality of our digital identity technology.
“Certification under the Digital Identity and Attributes Trust Framework represents the gold standard of Digital Identity service provision with security and privacy prioritised, meaning clients have no concerns about GDPR.”