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COVID adjusted Right to Work check processes further extended

Following news that COVID lockdown restrictions have been extended into July, the Home Office have announced a further extension to the adjusted process for carrying out right to work checks during the coronavirus pandemic.

Previously the adjusted measures – which allow employers to accept scanned or photograph copies of right to work documentation from prospective employees instead of sighting and taking a copy of the original document in person – were due to end on Monday 17th May 2021. Following widespread criticism due to restrictions on meeting and recommendations to social distance and work from home where possible remaining in place, this end date was delayed until 21st June.

On Friday 18th the Home Office have announced a further extension to this in line with the delayed to lifting of social distancing measures. Employers will now be able to continue to accept copies of documents until 1st September 2021.

To follow the correct process, employers performing adjusted right to work checks must mark the document copy stored with “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”, alongside usual provisions.

Instead of obtaining copies of documents from employees, businesses also remain able to make use of the online right to work check service to verify the right to work of non-EEA nationals with Biometric Residence Permits and EEA nationals with an immigration status through the points-based immigration system or EU Settlement Scheme. A printout from this service may be stored instead of a copy of a right to work document, however a face-to-face meeting must still be carried out in person or via a video link.

The Advisory Bureau would also like to remind all businesses that since 1st July 2021 they can no longer accept passports and national identity cards from EEA countries - with the exception of Ireland – as proof of right to work. Instead, they must now verify the immigration status of any prospective EEA national employees. This will usually only be possible electronically using the online service as EEA nationals are generally not awarded physical proof of their status.

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