The UK Home Office has provided employers with latitude in meeting Legal Right to Work (LRTW) Compliance requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic through a series of concessions.
One such concession enables employers to conduct right to work checks remotely, thus not requiring employees or HR personnel to be physically present in an office for the check to be considered valid. This concession enabled compliance requirements to remain in place throughout the period where most workers were expected to work from home as a matter of Government policy.
This temporary change was introduced on 30 March 2020 and was set to remain in place until 17 May 2021. The concession has now been extended to 21 June 2021, in line with the anticipated lifting of the work from home policy.
Retrospective in-person right to work checks on workers whose checks were conducted remotely in the concession period – i.e. 30 March 2020 to 20 June 2021 – will not be required. A statutory defence against illegal working will be maintained for those employers who have conducted right to work checks in line with the COVID-19 adjusted checks guidance during the concession period.
Employers must be mindful of the need to re-establish in person checks on 21 June 2021.
If you have questions as to how this will impact you as an employer or an employee, please get in touch with your usual Magrath Sheldrick LLP advisor for more information.