The current Covid-19-adjusted right to work checks, which began on 30 March 2020 during the start of the pandemic lockdowns, will end on 31 August 2021*.

The right to work temporary changes which began last year currently allow checks to currently be carried out over video calls. It also allows candidates and existing workers to send scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than sending originals. Employment agencies could also use the Employer Checking Service if a prospective or existing employee cannot provide any of the accepted documents.

From 1 September 2021, agencies must check the applicant’s original documents, or check the candidate's right to work online, if they have provided a share code (which enables them to access the information). The guidance states that until 31 August 2021, if agencies are 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 a mobile app as well as arrange a video call with the worker,
  • ask 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”.

Furthermore, 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, the applicant must give permission to view their details.

Agencies do not need to carry out retrospective checks on those who had a Covid-19 adjusted check between 30 March 2020 and 31 August 2021. This reflects the length of time the adjusted checks have been in place and supports business during this difficult time, the Home Office stated.

*Updated from 20 June.

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