COVID-19 Update: Advice for Employers on Right to Work checks - | Hudson McKenzie

COVID-19 Update: Advice for Employers on Right to Work checks

April 3, 2020 | Employment, Latest Thinking, News

On 30th March 2020, the Home Office published updated guidance for employers to carry out Right to Work checks. The purpose of these updated changes is to facilitate employers by making the process of carrying out these checks much easier. Please note that these amendments are only temporary during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new approach:

  • Job applicants and current employees must send either scanned copies or original documentation for checks or take photographs of them and send them via email or a mobile app to their employer. This is in place of sending original documentation to employers
  • Employers are to carry out these checks via video calls as opposed to face-to-face for social distancing purposes

Instructions for employers:

  • Request job applicants and employees to submit either scanned copies or clear photographs of the relevant original documentation either via email or a mobile app
  • Conduct a video call with the employee. When conducting the call, the employer must ask them to hold up their documentation and validate them, so they match the electronic copy documents
  • Note and document the date the check was made. It must be marked as “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”
  • Use the online right to work checking service whilst conducting the video call if the employee either has a Biometric Residence Permit, status under the EU Settlement Scheme or a Biometric Residence Card. The employer must seek permission from the applicant to view their details
  • Contact the Home Office Employer Checking Service if the existing job applicant or worker is unable to show their documentation

Recommendations to employers post-COVID-19:

When the Home Office announces the end to these measures, employers will then be required to carry out follow-up on employees who commenced work from 30th March 2020, when these measures implemented. These checks are mandatory and must be completed within 8 weeks of these COVID-19 measures ending.

  • Keep a record of both checks. This includes the checks made during the COVID-19 measures and the follow-up checks once these measures have ended
  • Mark the follow-up checks as “the individual’s contract commenced on [insert date]. The prescribed right to work check was undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”
  • Investigate whether the employee has permission to be in the UK, such as their visa expiration dates and validity. If they do not, you must terminate their employment
  • Analyse thoroughly that the details on the electronic copy documents are consistent with the ones that they hold up during the video call

Should you require further information and would like further recommendations regarding the above, please get in touch with the Global Mobility professional you deal with at Hudson McKenzie via email at or by telephone +44(0) 20 3318 5794