Immigration: deferred deadline for temporary adjustments to right to work checks

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The deadline for temporary adjustments to right to work checks due to COVID-19 has been deferred to 5 April 2022 (inclusive). New guidance will be issued ahead of 6 April 2022.

Here’s a brief summary and overview of the guidelines:

With a new immigration system being introduced in the UK, it is important that employers continue to conduct a correct right to work check, because it remains an offence to employ anyone who does not have the right to work in the UK.

From now until 5 April 2022 (inclusive), the checks can be done either manually or as set out in the COVID-19 adjusted checks guidance.

Correctly performed checks will give employers a defence against a civil penalty.

Updated advice for employers carrying out right to work checks during coronavirus (COVID-19) adjusted measures – practical steps:

Up to and including 5 April 2022, employers must:

  • ask the worker to submit a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents via email or using a mobile app
  • arrange a video call with the worker, where they:
    • ask them to hold up the original documents to the camera
    • check them against the digital copy of the documents
    • record the date of the check
    • mark it as “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”
  • 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 making a video call. The applicant must give the employer permission to view their details through a share-code obtained here: https://www.gov.uk/prove-right-to-work.
  • If the job applicant or existing worker cannot show their documents, employers must contact the Home Office Employer Checking Service with their consent.

Employers cannot insist individuals use this service or discriminate against those who choose to use their documents to prove their right to work.

Retrospective checks

Employers do not need to carry out retrospective checks on:

  • those who had a COVID-19 adjusted check between 30 March 2020 and 5 April 2022 (inclusive).
  • EEA and Swiss nationals employed by the 30th June 2021 who showed a valid passport.

Useful links:

Right to work checks: an employer’s guide

Home Office right to work online service