In order to comply with illegal working rules, all employers must check that their employees have the legal right to work for them in the UK. If it later transpires the employee does not possess the requisite immigration permission, failure to have carried out a right to work (“RTW”) check, may lead to an employer being charged with a civil or criminal penalty depending on the circumstances.
On 21 April, the Home Office announced that the Covid-19 adjustment to the RTW would come to an end on 17 May 2021. The end of the adjustment means that employers would once again have to see an individual’s original documents to comply with the RTW requirements. We discussed this change in our article: UK Right to Work Checks: Sunset of the Covid-19 Concession and Brexit Impact | The Mobile Workforce
The Home Office have announced today that the Covid-19 adjustment will now continue to 20 June. This will assist a number of employers with employees who are continuing to work from home in line with current government guidance.
Employers may therefore continue to check someone’s RTW either:
- Remotely, by comparing an electronic or paper copy of the individual’s documents whilst on a video call with them. The employer must record the date the check is made and mark it as “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19; or
- with the individual’s permission, using the online RTW service if the individual has one of the following:
- Biometric Residence Permit; or,
- Biometric Residence Card; or,
- status under either the EU Settlement Scheme or the Points Based System.
The employer will need the employee on a video call at the time of using the online RTW check service.
As a reminder, employers are required to carry out the RTW check on:
- all new employees before they start work; and,
- all existing employees who have a time limited permission to remain in the UK before this permission expires.
As of 21 June, employers will have to inspect an individual’s original documents physically. As discussed in our previous article, employers will need to ensure they have processes in place to carry this out.
In the meantime, we are continuing to monitor the situation and will provide a further update if the ending of the RTW Covid-19 adjustment is further delayed.