Archived: Return of physical right to work checks delayed

Last updated: 18th June 2021 This article has been archived. Please click here to view the latest news on the return of physical right to work checks.



Update: Following the delay of the next phase of lockdown easing in the UK, the Home Office have now delayed the return of physical right to work checks to the 1st September 2021. The postponement is good news for recruiters, who can continue to perform right to work checks whilst maintaining social distance. This is also good news for employers who are not ready to return to the office by 21st June.

What are the changes?

On 30th March 2020, temporary changes to right to work checks were implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This allowed checks over video calls, accepting scanned ID documents (or photos), and use of the Employer Checking Service. However, from 1st September 2021, these adjustments will come to an end. This means UK employers and recruiters will need see physical documents when making right to work checks. In short, this means employers must be in possession of the original documents. Scanned documents will NO LONGER be accepted. Or, employers can use the Home Office right to work online service (only applicable for certain visa types and statuses; NOT British nationals). Also, the 8-week retrospective rule has been abolished. This means candidates hired between April 2020 and April 2021 DO NOT need to be re-checked.

What should employers do

To ensure compliance after 1st September 2021, we cover what employers should do in our previous post. Click here to learn more. Do note: many organisations are currently lobbying for a permanent change to digital checks. This means that best practice for what employers should do could change.

Moving forwards, what does this mean?

Whilst the delay will give UK employers and recruiters more time, there is still the question of whether the Home Office will move to digital checks permanently. Additionally, whilst there are online checking services for EU nationals, it appears UK workers are still without an online service. In order to progress, the Home Office must address this lack of emphasis on digital advancements; or forfeit a safer (and more robust) way of performing right to work checks in the future.

What about Brexit?

In addition to the return of physical right to work checks, there are also ‘Brexit-influenced’ changes incoming. We cover Post-Brexit right to work checks in this article.    We will be keeping up to date with the Home Office and any delays/changes to right to work checks as they occur. Be sure to bookmark our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for new updates.
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