The COVID-19 adjusted checks end on 31 August 2021. From 1 September, employers are required to carry out face to face right to work checks either via a physical document check or via the Home Office online service.
The temporary changes which were introduced on 30 March 2020 and remain in place until 31 August 2021, permitted for checks to be carried out over video calls, and for scanned documents to be accepted, rather than the originals.
What are right to work checks?
Employers must check that all job applicants have the right to work in the UK before employing them, to avoid being liable for a civil penalty.
There are two types of right-to-work checks: a manual check and an online check. The type of check you need to conduct will depend on the status of the individual you are employing, and in some circumstances, the individual’s preference.
An online right-to-work check is required for individuals who only hold digital proof of their immigration status in the UK. This includes most EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens.
To carry out an online right to work check, you will need the applicant’s date of birth and their share code, which they will have obtained online. You can then complete the check online by visiting GOV.UK/view-right-to-work.
A manual check can be completed for UK and Irish nationals who can use their passport as proof of right-to-work, as well as for individuals in the UK who do not hold a digital immigration status. There are additional requirements for non-UK and Irish nationals to provide their physical immigration status document.
Checks on EEA nationals
As of 1 July 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members have been required to evidence their right to work in the UK, either using their online immigration status / Certificate of Application, or with a physical immigration document such as a Biometric Residence Card (BRC).
Employers are not required to carry out retrospective checks on employees who had a COVID-19 adjusted check between 30 March 2020 and 31 August 2021 (inclusive). This reflects the length of time the adjusted checks have been in place.
You will maintain a defence against a civil penalty if the check you have undertaken during this period was done in the prescribed manner or as set out in the COVID-19 adjusted checks guidance.