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Government reforms (2): Immigration – Right to work checks 

What do we already know?

As part of an employer’s obligations to prevent illegal working, there is a requirement to check the right to work of all employees’ original documents in person on or before their first day of work.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, employers have temporarily not been required to see an employee’s original document in person in order to carry out a compliant right to work check and can carry out a remote right to work check instead. A remote check is currently done by reviewing an electronic copy of the document and holding a video call with the employee.

What’s new?

The Government has confirmed that the above concession will end on 20 June 2021.

From 21 June 2021 remote right to work checks can still be completed via video link, but employers must view the employee’s original documents. If not back in the workplace, this will need to be done by the employee sending (e.g. by post or courier) their original documents to the employer to check ahead of the video call.

However, the good news is that employers will not have to carry out retrospective checks where the adjusted process has been used between 30 March 2020 and 20 June 2021 (inclusive), in the prescribed manner under the concession. Further, employers can still check the right to work online for those issued with a Biometric Resident Permit or granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme: the original document does not need to be checked in these circumstances.

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