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Many employers will have put their recruitment on hold during these challenging and unusual times but for those who are recruiting, it is useful to know that the right to work checks have been temporarily adjusted due to coronavirus to make it easier for employers to carry out the checks, especially whilst many employees work from home.

Certainly, it remains a requirement to carry out these checks and employers must continue to check the prescribed documents listed in the right to work checks: an employer’s guide.  However, from 30 March 2020 the following 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 originals.

Remember that it is a criminal offence to knowingly employ anyone who does not have the right to work in the UK.

Employers should also take care not to discriminate against a job applicant or employee if they are unable to show their documents and use the Government’s Employer Checking Service if a prospective or existing employee cannot provide any of the accepted documents.  Further guidance about how to avoid discrimination whilst carrying out right to work checks is available on the Government website.

Please get in touch if you have any questions regarding the issues discussed in this article: / T: +44 (0)1252 821792


HR, Employment Law and Immigration Solicitors

+44 (0)1252 821792