Jun 18 2021

Temporary Right to Work Check Measures Extended to August 31, 2021

United Kingdom

At a Glance:

  • The Home Office has further delayed the end date for the temporary right to work check measures to August 31, 2021.
  • Starting September 1, 2021, employers will need to either check the employee’s original documents or check the employee’s right to work online.

The situation

The Home Office has further delayed the end date of the temporary right to work check measures to August 31, 2021, from June 20, 2021.

A closer look

  • Temporary relaxed process. The current temporary right to work check process involves the worker submitting a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents via email to the employer. The employer can then conduct a video call with the worker during which they would hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents. Employers must ensure to record the date the check was made and mark the copy to say “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”.
  • Biometric Residence Card holders. If the worker has a current Biometric Residence Permit or Biometric Residence Card, status under the EU Settlement Scheme or digital status under the new points-based immigration system, the employer can use the online right to work checking system and validate their identity on a video call - the employee must provide the employer access to view their details on the system.
  • Process from September 1. Employers will need to either check the employee’s original documents or use the online right to work checking system once the employee has provided the employer access to view their details on the system. The checks must be completed in the presence of the employee, either in person or via video call.
  • Retrospective checks not required. As a reminder, the Home Office has confirmed that retrospective checks do not need to be conducted where a compliant COVID-19 adjusted check was carried out between March 30, 2021 and August 31, 2021 (inclusive). Employers will continue to have a defence against civil penalty if the checks completed during this time were in line with the COVID-19 adjusted guidance.
  • European national employees. As a reminder, European Economic Area (EEA) nationals will additionally need to provide proof of their UK immigration status for Right to Work starting July 1, 2021 onwards. This includes status issued under the EU Settlement Scheme or the Immigration Rules, or evidence of a pending application under either system with a Positive Verification Notice obtained via the Home Office’s Employer Checking Service.

Impact

  • Be prepared for regular right to work checks. Employers should review internal processes to ensure that they are in a position to resume checks as above and ensure that they review files to ensure compliant adjusted checks were completed between March 30, 2020 and August 31, 2021.
  • Contact Fragomen. Our dedicated Compliance & Audit team is also on hand to discuss, review and assist with changes to a company’s sponsorship and compliance programme.

Background

Right to work checks are a mandatory part of the employee hiring process in the United Kingdom. Employers must continue to check the prescribed documents set out in the Home Office’s employer guide. It remains an offence to knowingly employ a foreign national without the right to work in the United Kingdom.

Access Fragomen’s dedicated page for COVID-19 updates for current information.

Looking ahead

In addition to preparing for the end of temporary right to work check measures, foreign nationals and employers should be aware that checks carried out for EEA nationals will be changing on July 1, 2021 as a result of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. Employers should continue to check the prescribed documents set out in the Home Office’s employer guide to ensure checks are valid.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected].