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UPDATE: Temporary Right to Work Check Measures Extended
The Home Office has further delayed the end date of the temporary right to work check measures to April 5, 2022, from August 31, 2021.

The UK’s Home Office has further delayed the end date for the temporary right to work check measures to April 5, 2022. The current temporary right to work check process involves the worker submitting a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents via email to the employer. The employer can then conduct a video call with the worker during which they would hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents.

These measures have allowed employers flexibility when checking and recording the individual’s right to work in the UK whilst also providing a ‘statutory excuse’ against any potential illegal working claims. Other measures included:  

  • record on file that checks have carried out ‘adjusted checks on [date] due to COVID-19’ 
  • if the worker has a biometric residence permit/card or status under the EU settlement scheme, checks can be conducted using the Home Office’s online right to work checking service while doing a video call – permission must be sought from the applicant.

The Home Office intends to develop a new digital right to work check solution by April 2022, which will account for those who cannot currently use the online right to work checking system, including British and Irish nationals.

Starting April 6, 2022, it is expected that employers will need to either check the employee’s original documents, or check the employee’s right to work online or use this new digital solution. It is understood that employers will need to either check the employee’s original documents, use this new digital solution or use the online right to work checking system – once the employee has provided the employer access to view their details on the system. The checks must be completed in the presence of the employee, either in person or via video call. The Home Office will release new guidance ahead of April 6, 2022.

Employers should review internal processes to ensure that they are in a position to resume checks at the relevant time and ensure that they review files to ensure compliant adjusted checks are completed between March 30, 2020 and April 5, 2022.

We would recommend that the verification of identity and requirements to apply for a DBS check are conducted at the same time as the right to work check, to remove any unnecessary requirements for applicants to present documentary evidence. 

Employers should continue to refer to Home Office guidance to ensure they remain compliant with immigration rules on checking right to work during this time.