Right to work checks – post COVID

Right to work checks – post Covid

When the Covid-19 lockdowns started, and people began working from home, changes were made to the right to work scheme to accommodate this.

On the 30th March 2020, the government suspended the requirements for employers to verify original documentation for right to work checks.  From this date, employers were allowed to carry out a soft-copy check, allowing individuals to send a scanned copy of the documentation by email or a mobile phone app, followed up by a video call, to verify the authenticity of this document.

These arrangements were only ever intended to be temporary to limit social contact during the pandemic.

Post COVID, as restrictions lift in the UK, from the 21st June employers will be required to check the applicant’s right to work original documents.

Until it is made clear if the official work from home directive will be lifted at this date, employers may need to make some concessions to carry out compliant right to work checks, ensuring that no one is discriminated against as an applicant because they are unable to show their original documents.

Alternatively, for those with a status under the EU Settlement Scheme or with a Biometric Residence Permit, employers can check the online right to work portal, the applicant must give the employer permission to view their record, by providing their share code.

The government have also confirmed that for individuals whose soft-copy right to work check was carried out between the 30th March 2020 and the 20th June 2021, there will be no requirement to carry out an updated check.  It is therefore extremely important that all employers to ensure that all soft copy checks were taken within the concession period.

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