HR’s Best Guide to Digital Identity Checks in the UK

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What does Digital Identity mean for UK Employers? 

On 27th December 2021, the UK Government announced and outlined their intentions to enable employers to use digital identity service providers (IDSP) to carry out identity checks on their behalf, for British and Irish citizens along with those not in the scope to use the Home Office online services. The Disclosure and Barring service (DBS), also proposed something similar, as part of the criminal record checking process. 
These proposals have evolved, and as of the 1st October employers can work with an IDSP to digitally verify the identity of a British and Irish resident (with a valid passport) as part of a UK right to work check.  These digital identification checks, for right to work and DBS checks are intended to speed up the hiring and onboarding process and assist organizations after COVID, especially as more companies have adopted remote working. While it’s not a legal requirement for right to work, the Home Office recommends the use of a certified IDSP, which provides a level of assurance that the chosen IDSP meets the standards as set out in the trust framework. Ensuring an employer can be safe in the knowledge that they are mitigating risk, and confirming the identities of individuals using consistent and more secure methods. For DBS checks, employers must use a certified IDSP. 

UK Right to Work and Digital Identity  

If you employ individuals in the UK, it’s more than likely you’re aware of your legal duties to verify each employee's right to work status via a UK Right to Work check, regardless of their country. It's crucial for businesses of all sizes and in all industries to conduct regular, trustworthy, and efficient Right to Work inspections for new starters. However, with the increase in global and remote hiring, accelerated by the pandemic, it became increasingly more difficult to do this in-person, and therefore temporary adjusted checks were brought in. As these adjusted checks come to an end on the 30th September 2022, we’re seeing a significant move to enable employers to hire faster, and with a greater level of accuracy, with the introduction of Identity Service Providers on October 1st,  who can digitally verify the identity of individuals on the employees behalf prior to a candidate’s first day on the job. Veremark recently covered the essentials of UK right to work checks and what employers should know. 

What is the UK digital and Attributes Trust Framework?

The trust framework forms the rules organizations must follow ‘to conduct secure, trustworthy identity or attribute checks’, participants are certified against a set of government approved-rules and are permitted to prove and verify the identity of a candidate on behalf of the employer - provided they have a British or Irish passport that is valid. To become a certified IDSP, an organization must meet the criteria as set in the trust framework, and depending on the scheme related to the services they aim to join , they must also meet the requirements for the right to work, right to rent, or DBS scheme. 

What is a Digital Identity Service Provider? 

Put simply, an identity service provider (IDSP) is the name given to an organization that proves or verifies a user's identity. In the context of the trust framework, ‘a digital identity is a digital representation of a person acting as an individual or as a representative of an organization”. In an employment context, this allows an applicant to prove that they are in fact, who they say they are before they start their new position. 

Can the Identity Checks be Reused? 

This can only be determined on a case by case basis, and is dependent on the requirements of the hiring organization. Although, as stated in UK Government guidance, reusing a check may be possible where it’s legally permissible and within the rules as set out in the Trust framework. 

With this in mind, Veremark’s is on a mission to help employers trust faster, hire quicker, and for candidates to join their organization sooner, and therefore Verermark’s career passport service should be a major consideration for employers, allowing credentials to be shared, assisting in future checking decisions, and removing the need for unnecessary checks -  by harnessing the latest in blockchain technology. This allows credentials to be reusable and portable, yet remaining secure and fully auditable for the benefit of the candidate and employer alike.  

Trusted and Certified Digital Identity Solutions

Veremark have partnered with the certified identity service provider, Hooyu to become its new digital identity verification (IDV) partner digitizing the Right to Work and DBS identity checking process for the first time. This provides a seamless, user-friendly and robust onboarding and verification solution which complements the wide array of services Veremark is currently able to offer. If you’d like to learn more about this, speak to our team today

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What background check do I need?

This depends on the industry and type of role you are recruiting for. To determine whether you need reference checks, identity checks, bankruptcy checks, civil background checks, credit checks for employment or any of the other background checks we offer, chat to our team of dedicated account managers.

Why should employers check the background of potential employees?

Many industries have compliance-related employment check requirements. And even if your industry doesn’t, remember that your staff have access to assets and data that must be protected. When you employ a new staff member you need to be certain that they have the best interests of your business at heart. Carrying out comprehensive background checking helps mitigate risk and ensures a safer hiring decision.

How long do background checks take?

Again, this depends on the type of checks you need. Simple identity checks can be carried out in as little as a few hours but a worldwide criminal background check for instance might take several weeks. A simple pre-employment check package takes around a week. Our account managers are specialists and can provide detailed information into which checks you need and how long they will take.

Can you do a background check online?

All Veremark checks are carried out online and digitally. This eliminates the need to collect, store and manage paper documents and information making the process faster, more efficient and ensures complete safety of candidate data and documents.

What are the benefits of a background check?

In a competitive marketplace, making the right hiring decisions is key to the success of your company. Employment background checks enables you to understand more about your candidates before making crucial decisions which can have either beneficial or catastrophic effects on your business.

What does a background check show?

Background checks not only provide useful insights into a candidate’s work history, skills and education, but they can also offer richer detail into someone’s personality and character traits. This gives you a huge advantage when considering who to hire. Background checking also ensures that candidates are legally allowed to carry out certain roles, failed criminal and credit checks could prevent them from working with vulnerable people or in a financial function.

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State of Hiring and Background Checks Discrepancies

Veremark’s 2022 Annual Report is based on the background check data collected from over 100,000 checks from companies and professionals across 6 countries and 5 key industries last year.

This report focuses on the state of hiring and background check discrepancies and is an essential guide to all recruiters and HR professionals conducting hires, background checks and onboarding in 2022.

In this report, we discuss:  

  • What areas and factors can Background Checks discover?  
  • Where did the findings come from by country and sector?
  • Discrepancies by top 5 sectors
    • Fintech and Financial Services      
    • HR, Staffing and Recruiting      
    • Technology and Software      
    • Professional Services      
    • Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
  • Discrepancies by top 6 countries
    • Estonia      
    • Singapore      
    • United Kingdom      
    • Australia & New Zealand      
    • India      
    • Philippines
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