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Key Points
  • Under the temporary changes that were instated on March 30, 2020, employers have been able to carry out document checks through video calls and document scans instead of seeing original documents.
  • Starting on May 17, 2021, employers must check the employee’s physical documents to verify right to work status. An online share code can also be used.
  • If a prospective or existing employee is unable to provide necessary documents, employers can use the UK’s Employer Checking Service.
  • After May 17, 2021, certain exceptions are available for some online right to work checks. For example, if an employee holds an online status under the EU Settlement Scheme or a Biometric Residence Permit and can provide a share code, physical document verification isn’t required.
Any right to work checks that were completed in between March 30, 2020 and May 16, 2021 do not need to be re-done due to the adjusted measures that were taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the UK Home Office instituted a temporary change to the right to work procedures, which allowed the checks to be carried out over video. The UK Home Office has announced that starting on May 16, 2021 video calls will no longer be allowed and standards will set to pre-pandemic levels.
What Are the Changes?
The rules for employers conducting right to work checks are reverting to pre-pandemic expectations. Please note that the UK Home office did announce that employers were going to have to perform retroactive right to work checks, but they have since retracted this statement.
Looking Ahead
Employers should expect to have in-person right to work checks soon and should implement the appropriate processes to do so.
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