Following the government’s decision not to relax current lockdown restrictions on June 21st as originally planned, the Home Office has announced that the concessions allowing Right to Work checks to be conducted remotely, using either scans or photographs of required documents, have been extended until August 31st 2021.
What are the COVID concessions to Right to Work Checks?
Introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which made checking original documents in the presence of a prospective employee much harder, the COVID concessions allow employers to conduct Right to Work checks via video link using either scanned copies or photographs of original documents, or, with candidate’s permission, the online Employer Checking Service (ECS).
How must Right to Work checks be conducted once the concessions end?
From September 1st, employers must once again physically check prospective employees’ original documents themselves whilst in the presence of the candidate (either in person or via live video link) to evidence their legal right to work in the UK.
Where this is not possible, employers will be required to contact the ECS to obtain a Positive Verification Notice. It is important to note that the ECS is only available in respect of individuals who have been granted UK immigration status under the EU settlement scheme or the new points-based immigration system, and thus it cannot be used to check British nationals.
Whilst it will remain the case that retrospective checks are not typically required where a Right to Work check was conducted under the COVID concessions between March 30th 2020 and August 31st 2021, in cases where the employee’s right to work was time-limited, additional checks required after September 1st must be conducted in accordance with the standard prescribed requirements in order for the employer to continue to be able to rely on the statutory excuse defence.
How Secure Screening Services can help
At Secure Screening Services, we aim to take the complexity out of Right to Work screening to ensure that, not only are you employing people who are legally entitled to work in the UK but also that you can show that you have met your regulatory obligations in this regard.
Our highly experienced team personally checks an individual’s right to work, evidence of which is stored securely within our user-friendly and GDPR-compliant online screening portal and which can be downloaded anytime, anywhere.
We are experts in our field and keep abreast of the ever-changing legislation, liaising directly with the Home Office when required, so if you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.