Specialist background screening and identity services firm, Sterling, has called for a delay to the return of in-person Right to Work (RTW) checks, warning that the timing isn’t in line with overall plans to re-open offices.

Steve Smith, Managing Director EMEA, Sterling, explained:

“The timing of this decision is arguably too soon when we consider that Covid-restrictions are still in place and some offices won’t be re-opening until the summer. With limitations as to where and when in-person checks can be carried out in a Covid-safe way, the RTW process itself will become increasingly time-heavy, impacting some workers’ start dates, which won’t be conducive to supporting the economic recovery.

“Perhaps more importantly, though, we feel that the success of the remote RTW check process throughout the pandemic shouldn’t be overlooked. While we recognise that in-person checks may be necessary when the time is right, the progress that has been made through utilising technology can improve the process and better identify fraud in the future, and this opportunity shouldn’t be missed. Many companies have built digital and biometric identity checks into their screening programmes which has in turn decreased the potential of identity fraud – progress that should be built upon.

“The work that went into getting the RTW share code process in place has also proven highly valuable over the last 18 months and the tool has, in many instances, streamlined the RTW process itself. We do recognise that in-person is sometimes a necessity, but a complete return to pre-pandemic processes would undo the fantastic developments we’ve seen in the employment screening world and we urge the Government to consider a possible hybrid approach.”

By Lisa Baker, Senior Editor

Senior Editor Lisa Baker is the owner of Need to See it Publishing Group, providing contract news for business and news sites across the UK. Lisa is an experienced HR writer and commentator, editing HR publications for more than 5 years.