The temporary COVID-19 adjusted right to work check measures have been extended until 31 August 2021. This follows the government’s announcement on 14 June 2021 to extend the date for the easing of lockdown restrictions and social distancing beyond 21 June.
The temporary changes have been in place since 30 March 2020 and have allowed right to work checks to be carried out over video calls. They have also permitted job applicants and existing workers to send scanned documents or a photo of their documents to employers via email or a mobile app, rather than sending the originals.
From 1 September 2021, employers must once again either:
- Check the applicant’s original documents.
- Check the applicant’s right to work online, if they have provided the employer with their share code.
Employers will maintain a statutory defence against a civil penalty if the right to work check undertaken was carried out in the prescribed manner or as set out in the COVID-19 adjusted checks guidance. No further retrospective checks on employees who had a COVID-19 adjusted check will be required.
Notwithstanding that an employment contract will usually always contain a warranty by the employee to the employer that they have the right to work in the UK, the risk remains with the employer to confirm this.