Due to COVID-19, the Home Office introduced temporary adjustments to allow employers to carry out virtual right to work checks between 30 March 2020 and 20 June 2021. The Home Office have now confirmed that the adjustments will continue to apply until 31 August 2021.

Employers will maintain a defence against a civil penalty if the checks have been undertaken during this period in the prescribed manner.

COVID-19 Adjusted right to work check

  • Ask the employee to provide a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents via email or through a mobile app.
  • Schedule a video call with the employee to verify the documents – ask them to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy.
  • Record the date the check was made on the digital copy and mark it as “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”.

If the employee has a Biometric residence permit or has been granted status under the EU settlement scheme or the points-based system, the Home Office online service can be used during the video call with permission from the employee.

Conducting right to work check after the concession ends on 31 August 2021

From 1 September 2021, employers will be required to carry out:

  • A manual right to work check reviewing original documents; or
  • An online right to work check using the Home Office online checking service

Retrospective checks

Employers will not be required to carry out retrospective checks on employees who had a COVID-19 adjusted check between 30 March 2020 and 31 August 2021 (inclusive).

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