27 Aug 2021

United Kingdom, United States

Virtual Right to Work Checks Extended

The UK Home Office has confirmed that temporary right to work checks have been extended to 5 April 2022.

Current advice for employers carrying out right to work checks during coronavirus (COVID-19) adjusted measures

The following temporary changes were made on 30 March 2020 and will remain in place until 5 April 2022 (inclusive):

  • 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. Please let us know if this is the case and we can provide further guidance.

Employers must continue to carry out these RTW checks and review the documents set out in right to work checks: an employer’s guide or use the Home Office right to work online service. As usual, employers should not employ anyone who does not have the right to work in the UK.

Retrospective checks

Employers do not need to carry out retrospective checks on employees who had a temporary RTW check conducted between 30 March 2020 and 5 April 2022 (inclusive). Employers will maintain a defence against a civil penalty if the check you have undertaken during this period was done in the prescribed manner or as set out in the COVID-19 adjusted checks guidance.

Post – 5 April 2022

Given the positive feedback from the current temporary measures, the Home Office are looking into implementing a new system for digital right to work checks. They hope to introduce a digital solution to include many who are unable to use the Home Office online checking service, including UK and Irish citizens. The good news is that their goal is to continue completing these checks remotely and securely.

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The content above is provided for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. Use of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. 

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