UPDATE 18/06/21: Right to Work checks – What’s Changing?
June 18th, 2021 by Jake Waddingham
Right to Work update 18th June 2021: COVID-19 adjusted right to work checks will now end on 31 August 2021
The Home Office has announced today a further extension to the COVID-19 adjusted right to work checks. The announcement is in response to the Governments extension to the date for the easing of lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures. The guidance below has been updated to reflect the new dates.
In January 2020 the UK began departing the EU and a 6-month grace period for Right to Work checks was introduced to protect the rights of EEA nationals. This also gave employers the time to adjust their processes and ensure full compliance with the incoming rules and regulations. In March 2020 the Home Office announced changes to Right to Work checks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to support employers through this difficult period.
There have been some recent updates to this process and some amended timescales. Below are some of the key highlights on this journey, to support you to keep up to date and fully compliant.
When will the Right to Work Covid-19 temporary measures end?
The previously publicised date was 20 June 2021, for the temporary Covid-19 Right to Work changes will end. This is now 31 August 2021. This will mean you can no longer check an individual’s right to work over a video call using scanned copies of documents.
From 1 September 2021 you must check an individual’s Right to Work by:
- Checking the applicant’s original documents in person, or
- Checking the applicant’s right to work online (if they’ve given you their share code).
Will I need to retrospectively check those who had the adjusted check?
No – The Home Office has recently amended its guidance to state that you do not need to retrospectively check employees. This means you maintain your ‘statutory excuse’ against a civil penalty with the correctly recorded processes and documents. This includes circumstances where you processed your Right to Work check, in line with the Covid-19 temporary guidance.
If you checked an employee’s right to work during the Covid-19 guidelines and their right to work in the UK is time-limited and is due to expire after 1 September 2021. You must complete rechecks compliantly as set out in right to work checks: an employer’s guide.
Checking an employee’s Right to Work in the UK post Brexit
From 1 July 2021, the process of checking whether an EEA or Swiss national has the Right to Work in the UK is changing. EEA applicants will be required to demonstrate they have the Right to Work in the UK using the Home Office online service. The online service allows applicants to provide a share code with their prospective employer to evidence their immigration status rather than proving their nationality.
The Home Office will shortly be releasing new guidance on how the new process will work highlighting a number of exceptions.
Irish nationals will continue to have the right to work throughout and prove their right to work as they do now, for example by using their passport.
What is DDC doing in preparation for the Right to Work Changes?
Here at DDC, we are getting prepared for the upcoming Right to Work changes. We will shortly be releasing updated information about DDC’s improved paperless Right to Work check which will incorporate the Home Office online right to Work checking service. Watch this space…
Are you interested to find out how we can help improve flexibility, interoperability and scalability with your Right to Work checks? Speak with our pre-employment screening experts today.
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