Temporary changes made to right to work checks


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Employers have to carry out "right to work checks" on all prospective employees before employment starts in order to obtain the statutory excuse against civil penalty or criminal sanctions for employing a worker illegally in the UK.  Generally an employer will have to obtain original versions of one or more acceptable documents evidencing the employee's right to work, check the document's validity and make and retain a copy of the document and record the date the check was made.

Temporary changes have been put in place as of 30 March.  An employer will have to ask the prospective employee to submit a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents by email or via a mobile app.  A video call should then be arranged with the individual and the employer can ask them to hold up their original documents to the camera so that they can be checked against the digital copy they have been sent.  The date on which the check is conducted should be recorded and the note "Adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to Covid-19" should be made on a copy of the documents.
If the prospective employee has a Biometric Resident Permit, a Biometric Residence Card or status under the EU Settlement Scheme, the employer can use the online right to work checking service during the video call, but the individual must give the employer permission to view their details.  If the individual can't provide the required documents the employer should contact the Home Office's Employer Checking Service.  If the individual has the right to work then the employer will receive a "positive verification notice" which provides a statutory excuse for six months from the date of the notice.
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