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What are Digital Identity Checks?

Digital Identity Checks are the new government-approved method to digitally verify the identity of candidates applying for a job.
When you verify your applicants’ identities digitally, you no longer need to meet them in person or check and copy their original identification documents. 

 

What can Digital Identity Checks be used for?

Digital Identity Checks can be used for:
  • Right to Work
  • Right to Rent
  • DBS
  • Disclosure Scotland


What are the benefits of using Digital Identity Checks?

Digital Identity Checks:

  • Save your organisation time and money by reducing time-to-hire and significantly decreasing the use of internal resources. 
  • Make it easier for employers to meet their legal obligations. Employers have a legal duty to check their employees’ identities in order to ensure they have the right to work in the UK and as part of the process of applying for criminal record disclosure certificates.  
  • Reduce the risk of fraud. It’s much more difficult to use a fake identity in a digital identity check than it is in person.
  • More convenient for the candidates especially those working remotely from home. 


Why all the buzz about Digital Identity Checks now? 

During the pandemic, the government introduced temporary measures to allow employers to check their candidates’ identities remotely by video using copies of documents rather than originals. The temporary measures will end on 30th September 2022. 

From 1st October 2022, if employers carry out checks by video, they will need to be in possession of the candidate’s original documents. 

Alternatively, you can opt to use a service such as Verifile’s Digital Identity Check Platform, that manages the whole process on your behalf. 


Trust Verifile to manage your Digital Identity Checks

  • Release HR to focus on core tasks rather than checking identity documents face-to-face or by video call.
  • Be ready for the change in legislation on the 1st October 2022, when you will no longer be allowed to use copies of identity documents for authentication.
  • Get peace of mind you’re meeting your legal obligations and reducing the risk of identity fraud.
 

How does the Verifile service work?

Step 1. The candidate uses the camera, and where possible the chip reader, on the candidate’s digital device such as a smartphone to carry out security checks on their identity documents.

Step 2. The applicant then takes a selfie and this likeness is digitally compared to the photo on the identity document.

Step 3. The checks take a couple of minutes and the result is available immediately. We notify the employer automatically once the process is complete. 


What else do I need to know about Digital Identity Checks?

When will the Verifile Digital Identity Check Service be available?

Legislation will allow employers to use Digital Identity Checks for DBS and Right to Work from 6th April 2022. However, there are three main obstacles to overcome before the service can be deployed and used: 1. The government must pass the legislation in Parliament. 2. After that, we can apply to have the service certified. This process is likely to take up to 8 weeks. 3. We’ve been working on the platform for the last 12 months in preparation for these changes, but it’s possible we’ll have to make changes once the legislation is finalised.

What if legislation is passed and the technology is not yet ready, either due to lack of certification or another reason?

We aim to be ready for the 6th April, so we are confident that the solution will be available and deployed to all of our customers by 1st October when the government’s temporary measures come to an end. However, if the service isn’t available, employers will either have to revert to in-person / face-to-face ID checks for Right to Work purposes or continue to check remotely by video link. In this case, the employer will need to ensure they are in possession of the candidate’s original documents. For DBS checks, there is currently no need for employers to revert to in-person identity checks. 1. The government must pass the legislation in Parliament. 2. After that, we can apply to have the service certified. This process is likely to take up to 8 weeks. 3. We’ve been working on the platform for the last 12 months in preparation for these changes, but it’s possible we’ll have to make changes once the legislation is finalised.

Is it mandatory to use the Digital Identity Checks for DBS or RTW?

No. Employers cannot force candidates to use Digital Identity Checks and some candidates won't meet the requirements. It is therefore important to have an alternative non-digital solution available. Verifile offers a Conditional RTW check service to fulfil that requirement. However, if the service isn’t available, employers will either have to revert to in-person / face-to-face ID checks for Right to Work purposes or continue to check remotely by video link. In this case, the employer will need to ensure they are in possession of the candidate’s original documents. For DBS checks, there is currently no need for employers to revert to in-person identity checks. 1. The government must pass the legislation in Parliament. 2. After that, we can apply to have the service certified. This process is likely to take up to 8 weeks. 3. We’ve been working on the platform for the last 12 months in preparation for these changes, but it’s possible we’ll have to make changes once the legislation is finalised.

Can we continue to do remote checks on copies of documents?

Not after the 1st October 2022. Temporary measures were introduced during the pandemic to enable remote ID checks via video link. This process allowed employers to use copies of documents rather than originals. The temporary measures will end on 30th September 2022. After that, employers will need to be in possession of the candidate’s original identity documents.

Are Digital Identity Checks free?

No. A small transaction fee is applied wherever the digital identity service is used. This fee is separate from both the DBS fee, and from the admin fee.

Does the Digital Right to Work check apply for all areas of the UK including Northern Ireland and Scotland?

Yes. The Digital Right to Work check is compliant with Home Office guidelines for employers throughout the UK.

Will Digital Identity Checks cover all candidates?

No. In some cases in-person checking will still be necessary, so employers need to be prepared for this. Verifile has solutions to support candidates who are not willing or able to utilise digital identity checking.

Can candidates use an expired passport for Digital Identity Checks?

Only current passports can be used for Right to Work checks. The government is due to make a decision soon in relation to the use of expired passports for DBS checks.

Can candidates who don’t have a British passport use a passport from any other country for digital Right to Work and DBS checks?

Only UK and Irish passports can currently be used for Digital Right to Work checks. For DBS checks international passports are accepted.