Days before in-person right to work checks were due to be reintroduced on 1 September, the Home Office has issued updated guidance extending the end date for the temporary adjusted checks due to coronavirus (COVID-19) to 5 April 2022.
As a result, the following temporary changes, which were introduced on 30 March 2020, will now remain in place for a further seven months, as follows:
- checks can currently be carried out over video calls
- job applicants and existing workers can send scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than sending originals
- employers should use the Home Office Employer Checking Service if a prospective or existing employee cannot provide any of the accepted documents.
Up to and including 5 April 2022, employers carrying out a temporary adjusted check must therefore:
- 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
- ask the worker to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents
- record the date they made the check and mark it as “adjusted check undertaken on [relevant 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, they can use the online right to work checking service while doing a video call. The applicant must give the employer permission to view their details.
Employers do not need to carry out retrospective checks on anyone who had a coronavirus (COVID-19) adjusted check between 30 March 2020 and 5 April 2022 (inclusive).
The Home Office has not given any indication as to when the new guidance will be issued except to say that it will be “ahead of 6 April 2022”.
To read the revised guidance in full, click here.