Temporary Right to Work Checks Extended to 5 April 2022

It is unlawful to employ someone who does not have the right to reside and work in the UK or who is working in breach of their conditions of stay. Employers have a duty to prevent illegal working and must carry out certain right to work checks on all prospective employees before their employment starts (and should undertake follow up checks for current employees with time-limited permission to live and work in the UK).

As we have previously reported, on 30 March 2020, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the government made the following temporary changes to the right to work checks to simplify the process for employers:

  • Checks can be carried out via video call (rather than in person).
  • Job applicants and existing workers can submit scanned copies or photographs of identity documents for checks (instead of providing original documents).

The end date for these adjusted checks was originally set as 16 May 2021, and this was then put back to 21 June, and then to 31 August. However, the government announced on 26 August that the end date has been deferred again, to 5 April 2022.

The government has said that it made this decision following positive feedback about the ability to conduct checks remotely, and that it intends to introduce a new digital solution to include many who are unable to use the Home Office online checking service, including UK and Irish citizens, that will enable checks to continue to be conducted remotely, but with enhanced security.

Click here for the full government guidance or if you would like to discuss this further, contact a member of Lanyon Bowdler’s employment team.