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    Home » Employment Law » COVID19 Right to work checks – Here’s what you need to know


    A recent Government announcement has confirmed that COVID19 adjusted temporary right to work check process will now be available until 5 April 2022. This was previously due to expire on 20th June 2021; this latest update supersedes the previous guidance laid out on 20th April 2021.

    These temporary right to work checks have been adapted to adjust to the ongoing pandemic to reduce the need for in-person contact for assessments to take place.

    What does this mean for employers?

    Up to 20th June 2021, employers can utilise modern technologies such as video calling and apps to conduct right to work checks. This includes:

    • Request a scanned copy or a photograph of original documentation. (This can be done via email or through a mobile app.)
    • Arrange a video call with the employee and ask them to display original documents to the camera. This can then be cross-referenced against the copy documentation that has been sent to you.  You must mark the copy document that you have with “adjusted check undertaken on [insert DATE] due to COVID-19”.

    For employees who may have a Biometric Permit/residence card or have been granted status under an EU settlement, instead of the process set out above you can access the online right to work checking service. Please note that the applicant must permit you to be able to view these details. 

    Further considerations

    Unable to provide evidence

    It is understandable that due to the impact of COVID19, some individuals may struggle to provide you with the required documentation. As checks are still a necessity, it is essential to ensure that no current employee or job applicant experiences discrimination during the checking process. The Government offers a helpful guide for code of practice for employers: avoiding unlawful discrimination while preventing illegal working.

    Necessary actions you must take

    If a job applicant cannot provide a right to work, you must contact the home office employer checking service. You will then be notified with a positive verification notice. If you then proceed, this notification will provide you with a statutory excuse for six months from the date of receiving the notification.

    Further reading

    The temporary adjustments that are currently in place will terminate on 20th June 2021. For further reading, you can check the official statement from the Government here. This webpage also contains additional helpful links to ensure you remain compliant throughout the process.

    For all of your employment law needs please contact our employment law specialist John Cameron who will be happy to assist you.