Right to Work checks has been essential for all employers to ensure their workers are legally working from them.
Since March 2020, temporary arrangements have been put in place because of the pandemic to allow virtual checks for employers instead of the traditional Manual or Online Right to Work checks.
Employers are still required to conduct right to work checks but such checks:
can be carried over video calls
documents can be scanned copies or photographs of the documents
Employer Checking Service can also be conducted for those that do not have acceptable documents.
Such temporary arrangements were due to end on 31 August 2021, but the Home Office has since confirmed (on 26 August 2021) that the Virtual Checks will continue to be permitted until 5 April 2022. The Home Office will publish new guidance closer to April 2022 on future right to work checks requirements.
To conduct virtual right to work checks, an employer can apply the following Home Office guidelines below:
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 them to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents, record the date you made the check and 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, [an employer] can use the online right to work checking service – the applicant must give you permission to view their details.
Employers will not need to carry out retrospective checks for virtual checks conducted between 30 March 2020 and 5 April 2022.
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