Remote Right to Work checks extended until 2022

A Government scheme which allows employers to interview and screen potential employees remotely, will stay in place until next year.

Employers are reminded that the Right to Work (RTW) checks, which allow for video interviewing, have been extended until next April.

As the pandemic took hold in March 2020, the Government made temporary changes that were due to end on 31 August, these have now been extended until 5 April 2022.

What it means:

  • Checks to be carried out over video calls
  • Job applicants and existing workers can send scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than sending originals
  • Employers should use the Home Office Employer Checking Serviceif a prospective or existing employee cannot provide any of the accepted documents

The Home Office decided to defer the date following the positive feedback about the ability to conduct checks remotely.

Checks continue to be necessary and you must continue to check the prescribed documents set out in right to work checks: an employer’s guide or use the Home Office right to work online service. It remains an offence to knowingly employ anyone who does not have the right to work in the UK.

If  you are carrying out a temporary adjusted check, you must:

  • Ask the worker to submit a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents via email or using a mobile app
  • Arrange a video call with the worker – ask them to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents, record the date you made the check and mark it as “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”
  • If the worker has a current Biometric Residence Permit or Biometric Residence Card or has been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme or the points-based immigration system you can use the online right to work checking servicewhile doing a video call – the applicant must give you permission to view their details.

Online right to work service

The Home Office right to work online service gives you a defence against a civil penalty. You don’t need to see or check the individual’s documents, as right-to-work information is provided in real-time directly from Home Office systems.

Employers cannot insist individuals use this service or discriminate against those who choose to use their documents to prove their right to work.

Retrospective checks

You do not need to carry out retrospective checks on those who had a COVID-19 adjusted check between 30 March 2020 and 5 April 2022 (inclusive).

You are protected against a civil penalty if the check you have undertaken during this period was done correctly, or as set out in the COVID-19 adjusted checks guidance.

For help and advice on employment matters, contact our expert team at AGS HR Solutions today to discuss your requirements.