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Legal Right to Work Checks

Temporary adjustments during COVID-19 crisis

The Home Office has issued new guidance on Legal Right To Work (LRTW) checks in light of COVID-19.

The key points are that as of 30 March 2020 the following temporary changes have been made:

  • Checks can now be carried out over video calls
  • Job applicants and existing workers can send scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than sending original
  • Employers should use the Employer Checking Service if a prospective or existing employee cannot provide any of the accepted documents

Conducting a right to work check during the temporary COVID-19 measures

Whilst these temporary measures are in place employers should:

  • Ask the worker to submit a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents via email or using a mobile app
  • Arrange a video call with the worker – ask them to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents
  • Record the name of the person verifying the check, the date the check was made and mark it as “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”
  • If the worker has a current Biometric Residence Permit or Biometric Residence Card or status under the EU Settlement Scheme employers can use the online right to work checking service while doing a video call.

Conducting a follow up LRTW check after the COVID-19 measures end

The Home Office will inform stakeholders in advance when the measures will end and once they do, employers will be required to conduct a further LRTW check in the prescribed way.

Employers will need to record their name, the date the check was made and mark it as “the individual’s contract commenced on [insert date]. The prescribed right to work check was undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”.

Both checks should be kept for LRTW records.

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