The Employer Checking Service Needs Fixing

By Emma McClelland - 06 September 2021

In our previous briefing, 'Lives on Hold', we covered the stories of people who had lost their job or found themselves unable to start work because their employer couldn't use the Employer Checking Service. The prevalence of this problem prompted us to examine the service. We discovered a system that isn't fit for purpose. 

The Employer Checking Service is an online platform designed to help employers check the right to work for an applicant who is unable to provide them with a share code. This may be because the applicant is not digitally competent, or because theirs is one of the half a million EUSS applications still awaiting a decision from the Home Office. 

In our latest briefing, we have highlighted the service's faults, as well as the remedial actions the Home Office should take to fix them. In summary, we found that contradictory wording, out-of-date information claiming that EEA nationals don't require right-to-work checks, and a lack of clarity regarding applicants' reference numbers make this service confusing to use. 

Both workers and employers desperately need a functioning process to enable them to prove and check their right to work, even when status is pending. The current state of the Employer Checking Service risks thousands of people with applications stuck in the backlog being dismissed or finding themselves unable to take up new employment.

The Home Office must clarify confusing and contradictory wording, familiarise employers with the process of checking applicants' right to work, and buttress its capacity to process the backlog of EUSS applications. 

Read and download the full report here

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