Temporary changes to the right to work checking process introduced at the end of March 2020 are coming to an end. The changes allowed scanned documents to be sent to the employer and for a video call to be used to check the scan against the original document held up to the camera by the worker. From 17 May 2021 employers will need to have the original document in their possession or check an individual's right to work online.

What temporary COVID-19 adjustments to right to work checks have been in place?

Adjustments were made to the right to work checking process from 30 March 2020. From that date employers have been able to carry out right to work checks via video call where the individual shows their original documents to the camera and they are checked against copy documents sent electronically by the worker to the employer (Adjusted Checks). This avoided the need to carry out checks in person and also avoided having to send passports or other original documentation in the post, which was helpful in the context of remote working.

When are the temporary adjustments coming to an end?

On 16 May 2021.

What changes take place from 17 May 2021?

From 17 May 2021, Adjusted Checks will no longer apply. Employers for new hires to the business will have to complete either of the following to satisfy right to work checks:

  • Be in physical possession of the individual 's original documents such as a passport and/or visa (copies will no longer be sufficient) and carry out the check. The person can be present in person or alternatively via video link (but the employer must have the documents in its possession at the time), or;
  • Use the Home Office right to work online checking service where possible (the candidate will need to complete details and share an access code for the employer to check) – Home Office right to work checking service

From 17 May 2021, employers should ensure either of the above checks highlighted are completed along with the usual signing and dating of any photocopies of the documents captured. It is worth ensuring that enough time is factored into any on-boarding processes to allow for documents to be sent to the person carrying out the check or using the Home Office right to work checking service online.

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