Right to Work checks – extended deadline

Further to previous guidance issued this year, the end date for temporary adjusted checks in relation to an employee’s right to work has been deferred until 5th April (inclusive). The government have made this decision after receiving positive checks about the ability to conduct checks remotely, with the intention to introduce a digital solution for those who are unable to use the Home Office online checking system.

The following will temporarily remain in place:

  • checks can currently be carried out over video calls
  • job applicants and existing workers can send scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than sending originals
  • employers should use the Home Office Employer Checking Service if a prospective or existing employee cannot provide any of the accepted documents

Here are some tips to ensure you carry out these checks correctly:

  1. Requesting a clear scanned copy or photo of the worker’s original documents via email or through a mobile app.
  2. Once a digital copy has been received, scheduling a video call with the worker to verify the digital copy against their original document. The worker will need to clearly show the original document during the call.
  3. Record the date the check was made on the copy and mark it as an adjusted check using the following phrase “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”. Records of each check should be retained in a safe and secure location.

Retrospective checks

It is no longer a requirement to carry out retrospective checks on employees who were hired using the Covid-19 adjusted right to work check between 30 March 2020 and 5 April 2022 (inclusive). As long as the check was carried out in the prescribed manner, employers will have a statutory excuse against liability after 5 April 2022.

If an employer subsequently becomes aware, or has reasonable cause to believe, that any individual has ceased to have the right to work lawfully in the UK, the statutory excuse will no longer apply.