Further extension to the temporary adjustments to right to work checks
In April, May and June, we commented on the Government’s decision to extend the temporary adjustments to right to work checks. These were initially extended to 16 May 2021, then to 20 June 2021 and then again until 31 August 2021.
Concerns were raised that even an extension until 31 August 2021 was too short with many employers still working largely remotely making face to face checks difficult. The Government has reacted to these concerns by confirming that the temporary COVID-19 adjusted right to work checks will now remain in place until 5 April 2022. That is a sizable extension compared with previous extensions. However, that long extension appears to have been partly influenced by a wish to make sure that the Right to Work Scheme continues to operate in a manner which supports employers whilst also allowing the Government breathing space to look to implement a long-term, post-pandemic solution.
As a result of this extension
Up to an including 5 April 2022:
- Checks can be carried out over video calls
- Job applications and existing workers can send scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile phone app, rather than sending original documents; and
- Employers should use the Government’s Employer Checking Service if a prospective or existing employee cannot provide any of the accepted documents
The Governments latest advice, also provides that if an employer is carrying out a temporary adjusted check, they must:
- ask the worker to submit a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents via email or using the a mobile app
- arrange a video call with the worker asking them to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents, record the date the Employer made 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 employers can use the online right to work checking service while doing a video call so long as the applicant gives permission to view their details.
If you need any further assistance on right to work checks, please contact our Employment Partner, Matt Jenkin.