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April Changes: Right to Work

 

Mandatory online RTW checks for certain individuals

From the 6th of April, employers are required to carry out a check, using the Home Offices online right to work check service, for employees who hold a:

  • BRC (biometric residence card)
  • BRP (biometric residence permit)
  • FWP (frontier working permit)

It will no longer be an option to complete a manual right-to-work check using a physical BRC, BRP or FWP as all checks from April will be digital.

In order to use the Home Office’s online right to work check service, an employer must have access to the individual’s date of birth and a valid right to work share code. 

Employers who have completed compliant right to work checks on or before 5th April 2022, will not be required to carry out retrospective checks using the updated method.

 

New RTW checks for British and Irish citizens

The end date for the temporary adjusted checks has now been deferred for 30th September 2022 (inclusive). The decision to defer the date was made following the positive feedback they received following the government’s announcement enabling employers to use Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT) to carry out digital checks on British and Irish citizens who hold a valid passport.

Key points for employers

The initial right to work check must be completed by employers prior to the date the employment is due to start and the follow-up right to work check in line with the timings set out in the employer right to work checks supporting guidance.

 

National Minimum Wage

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) will both rise from 1st April. Employers must therefore ensure that they remain compliant in terms of their employees and workers’ pay.

Currently, rates are to increase as follows:

NLW (aged 23 and over) -> from £8.91 to £9.50 (6.6% increase)

Aged 21-22 -> from £8.36 to £9.18 (9.8% increase)

Aged 18-20 -> from £6.56 to £6.83 (4.1% increase)

Aged 16-17 -> from £4.62 to £4.81 (4.1% increase)

Apprentice rate -> from £4.30 to £4.81 (11.9% increase)

In addition to a rise in the NMW and the NLW, April will also see the introduction of the Social Care Levy which will help fund the NHS, health and social care.

Given that there has not been sufficient time to process the Social Care Levy as a separate deduction, the government have decided to increase NI to compensate for this payment for this tax year only. A 1.25% increase to NI contributions to most employees, with the exception of employees under the age of 21 and Apprentices under the age of 25, will therefore be introduced.

Key points for employers

The rise in the NLW will also apply to lower-salaried employees who must earn a minimum of £19,750 for a 40 hour week from 1st April 2022.