September 9, 2021

U.K. Updates Advice on Coronavirus Right to Work Checks

Following positive feedback about the current process of conducting checks remotely, the Home Office has decided to defer the end date for the adjusted checks to April 5, 2022. On March 30, 2020, the following temporary changes were made:

    • Checks can be made during this time over video call
    • Job applicants and existing workers can send scanned documents or a photo of the documents via 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

Right to work checks continue to be required and it is an offense to knowingly employ anyone who does not have the right to work in the U.K. Employers should check the prescribed documents set out in the right to work checks: an employer’s guide or use the Home Office right to work online service.

When carrying out the right to work checks up to and including April 5, 2022, employers should:

    • Ask the individual to send a copy of their scanned or photographed documents by email or mobile app
    • Arrange a video call with the employee to verify the digital copy against the copy they present in front of the camera, record the date of 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, the online right to work checking service can be used during the video call if you have permission to view the applicant’s details.

Retrospective checks are not required on those individuals who completed an adjusted check between March 30, 2020 and April 5, 2022. If the prospective employee or existing employee cannot provide the required documents, the employer must contact the Home Office Employer Checking Service. If the individual has the right to work, the Employer Checking Service will send a ‘Positive Verification Notice’ providing a statutory excuse for 6 months from the date in the notice.

For further information on the U.K.’s right to work check requirements, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team.

Leanne Cottrell

Leanne Cottrell

As Head of Immigration with Sterling Lexicon, Leanne leads a team of specialists who are responsible for ensuring the entire immigration process is smooth and stress-free for clients, assignees and their accompanying family members. She brings over ten years of experience in strategic immigration management, planning and consultation to her role, and has cultivated invaluable knowledge and experience in processing countless global migration applications. As a trusted partner, she consults with clients on everything from policy considerations and cost or efficiency improvements, to the impact of opening offices in new locations. Leanne is a frequent presenter and author on global immigration topics and trends.

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