Not fit for purpose’ – employment rights charity criticises the Home Office’s Employer Checking Service for ‘contradictory wording’ and ‘out-of-date’ information

Employment rights charity, the Work Rights Centre, has published a report outlining its concerns about the Employer Checking Service, a Home Office online platform designed to help employers check the right to work of applicants unable to provide them with a ‘share code’. It finds that the system suffers from poor wording, lack of clarity, and

in some cases information about the status of EU nationals that is more than two months out of date.

The Employer Checking Service is a system designed to help employers check the right to work of migrants who are unable to prove their status with a ‘share code’. This also applies to the thousands of EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals awaiting an outcome for their application to the EU Settlement Settlement Scheme. According to the latest figures from the Home Office, more than half a million EUSS applications are yet to receive an outcome from the

Home Office.

In its report, the Work Rights Centre states that: “Contradictory wording, out-of-date information, and a lack of clarity regarding applicants’ reference numbers make this service confusing to use”. The ECS even claims that: “If the person is from the UK, the EEA or Switzerland […] then you do not need to request a right to work check.”

The charity is calling on the Home Office to reword some of the more ambiguous questions; update outdated information; discourage retrospective checks; and explain the types of Application Reference Numbers and where employers might find them. It has also urged the Home Office to raise awareness of the new process for right-to-work checks and to buttress its capacity to clear the backlog of EUSS applications.

Work Rights Centre Director, Dr Dora-Olivia Vicol, commented: “EU+ workers and employers desperately need a functioning process to enable them to prove and check their right to work, even when status is pending.

“Currently, the Employer Checking Service isn’t fit for purpose; it’s faulty and unclear. This poses the serious risk that thousands of people whose applications are pending will find themselves dismissed or unable to take up new employment.”