News & Insights

In person right to work checks to resume 21 June 2021

COVID-19 RTW adjustments to end on the 20 June 2021.

Temporary changes to Right to work checks have been in place since 30 March 2020. These temporary adjustments will end on the 20 June 2021.

Until the 20 June 2021 (inclusive) right to work checks can be carried out through:

  • video calls, facetime, or equivalent
    • job applicants and existing workers can provide scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than sending originals
    • the Employer Checking Service should be used if a prospective or existing employee cannot provide any of the accepted documents

Employers carrying out temporary COVID-19 adjusted checks:

  • ask the worker to submit a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents via email or using a mobile app
  • arrange a video call with the worker – ask them to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents, record the date you made the check and mark it as “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19
  • if the worker has a current Biometric Residence Permit or Biometric Residence Card or has been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme or the points-based immigration system you can use the online right to work checking service while doing a video call – the applicant must give you permission to view their details.

From 21 June 2021 onwards, employers will have to:

Some individuals may struggle to show evidence of their right to work in the UK because of the impact of COVID-19. Consequently, you will have to take extra care to ensure no-one is discriminated against as a job applicant or employee because they are unable to show you their documents. The code of practice for employers provides more information on this.

Retrospective checks

Employers will not need to carry out retrospective checks on those who had a COVID-19 adjusted check between 30 March 2020 and 20 June 2021 (inclusive).

It remains an offence to knowingly employ anyone who does not have the right to work in the UK. If the job applicant or existing worker cannot show their documents you must contact the Home Office Employer Checking Service.  If the person has a right to work, the Employer Checking Service will issue a ‘Positive Verification Notice’. This notice provides a statutory excuse for 6 months from the date in the notice, which must be kept on the employee’s file.

Employers may be liable for a fine of up to £20k for failing to retain the correct documents on file for each employee.

If you have any questions about the contents of this article or you need any assistance with your right to work processes, please contact [email protected]  in our Immigration team.