COVID-19: adjusted right to work check measures extended to 5 April 2022

The temporary COVID-19 adjusted right to work check measures will now end on 5 April 2022 (inclusive), not 31 August 2021 as previously announced by the Home Office.

The temporary changes, in place since 30 March 2020, allow right to work checks to be carried out over video calls and for 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.

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.

From 6 April 2022, 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.

However, the Home Office has reiterated its intention to introduce a new digital right to work check solution to include many who are currently unable to use the Home Office online checking service, including UK and Irish citizens. This will enable checks to continue to be conducted remotely but with enhanced security.

Source: Home Office and Immigration Enforcement: Coronavirus (COVID-19): right to work checks (updated 26 July 2021).