UNITED KINGDOM: COVID-19 Right To Work Guidance Changes

December 23, 2020

Since March 2020, the Home Office has adjusted the Right To Work checks required by employers for new employees.

This allows employers to carry out checks via video call and use scanned copies of documents for new employees/follow-up checks during the current pandemic. However, there was still the requirement that sponsors would need to do retrospective checks on existing employees who:

  1. started working for you during these measures
  2. required a follow-up right to work check during these measures

Once the COVID-19 Right to Work measures come to an end, retrospective checks would need to follow the traditional Right to Work check requirements.

However, the Home Office has now confirmed that an employer can conduct a check:

  1. on the Home Office online checking service available on GOV.UK; and
  2. via live video link with the employee

This will alleviate the need to conduct a retrospective check.

It is also noted that due to the ongoing nature of the pandemic, we do not have a confirmed date for when the temporary adjustments will come to an end.

Sponsors are reminded that it remains an offence to knowingly employ a person who is subject to immigration control and not allowed to undertake the work in question (because of their immigration status), or where there is reasonable cause to believe this is the case and the person is employed anyway.

Our Advice

To lesson the burden of having to complete retrospective checks in the future, sponsors are encouraged to use the Home Office online checking service available on GOV.UK (https://www.gov.uk/view-right-to-work) when conducting their Right to Work checks via video link with their employees.

For general advice and information on immigration and business travel to the UK, please contact us.