Right to work checks temporarily changed

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In light of the 2020 coronavirus outbreak, from 30 March 2020 employers can adopt a revised process for checking right to work. Government guidance confirms that a scanned copy or photograph of documents necessary to prove a right to work (as outlined in our in depth section) should be sent to the employer via an email or mobile app. A video call should then be arranged with the worker, where they should be asked to present their original documents to the camera. These documents should then be compared with the digital versions previously sent. The date of this check should be recorded and noted as “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”. If a prospective employer cannot produce any of the prescribed documents, the employer should consult the Home Office Employer Checking Service. When the coronavirus crisis ends, the date of which is currently unknown, a retrospective check should be carried out on employees who started working for the company, or required a follow-up check, during these measures. This check will need to be carried out within eight weeks of the crisis ending and be marked “the individual’s contract commenced on [insert date]. The prescribed right to work check was undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19.” If during the retrospective check it is found that the employee does not have the right to work in the UK, they should be dismissed immediately. For organisations that have been deemed an essential business, a usual check can still be conducted, however the validity of documents check can be done via video link provided the employer has the original documents. If an employee has a Biometric Residence Permit or has been granted ‘settled status’ under the EU Settlement Scheme, they can give the employer permission to check their details online.

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