The government has further extended the temporary COVID-19 adjusted right to work checks process, with the result that the end date for this process has been deferred to 5 April 2022. It had been due to end on 31 August 2021. Under the process, right to work checks can be carried out by employers over video calls, with job applicants (and existing workers) sending scanned documents or a photo of their documents using email or a mobile app, rather than sending the originals. During the video call, the individual should be asked to hold up their original documents to the camera and these should be checked against the digital copy of the documents. The date of the check should then be recorded and marked as “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”. However, if the individual has a current biometric residence permit or card or has been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme or the points-based immigration system, employers can alternatively use the Home Office online right to work checking service while doing the video call, provided the individual has given permission for the employer to view their details.

Although the temporary adjusted right to work checks process is due to end on 5 April 2022, the updated guidance now states that the government’s intention is to “introduce a new digital solution to include many who are unable to use the Home Office online checking service, including UK and Irish citizens”, enabling checks to continue to be conducted remotely but with enhanced security. It also states that new guidance will be issued ahead of 6 April 2022. There is therefore the possibility that this long-term digital solution (covering all individuals whose right to work needs checking) will be available by 5 April 2022. If it’s not available by then, and there is no further extension of the temporary adjusted right to work checks process, employers will then need to revert to undertaking fully compliant right to work checks from 6 April 2022 onwards, i.e. physically checking either the individual’s original documents or their right to work online using the Home Office online right to work checking service.

The updated guidance also confirms that employers do not need to carry out retrospective checks on those who had a COVID-19 adjusted right to work check between 30 March 2020 and 5 April 2022 inclusive.

Source: New feed