Continuation of adjusted right to work checks

31 Aug 21 by Charlotte Ashton
Right to work checks

During the Covid crisis, employers have been able to carry out adjusted checks on prospective employees to comply with their duty to prevent illegal working. The Home Office has allowed for employers to carry out visual identity checks over video calls and obtain scanned copies of documents, rather than see originals, in order to confirm an employee’s right to work.

This adjusted way of carrying out right to work checks was initially due to end on 16 May 2021 in line with earlier plans to ease restrictions. However, as the Government’s response to the pandemic has developed, the end date has been repeatedly – with the concession now due to end on 5 April 2022.

From 6 April 2022 (subject to any more extensions), employers will be required once more to carry out face-to-face checks and see and copy original documents before an individual can start work. Employers can continue to use the online checking service in circumstances where this is appropriate.

This extension is hoped to enable employers to have enough time to consider how they will logistically manage to fulfil their legal obligations in order to revert to these checks from 6 April 2022. The Home Office also hopes that in time there will be a new digital solution to enable checks to continue to be carried out remotely but with enhanced security.


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Post by Charlotte Ashton

Senior solicitor, ESP Law Ltd

Charlotte has over 10 years’ experience in all aspects of employment law. She trained in-house with a large UK company, covering 45,000 employees, and moved to private practice on qualification. Charlotte enjoys helping growing companies understand their legal obligations and has given training and presentations to start up entrepreneurs, and business students, at a local University. Charlotte also specialises in business immigration law for the UK and has helped employers obtain sponsor licences in order to recruit from outside the UK.