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COVID–19 Response: Home Office Right To Work (RTW) Update


The Home Office have confirmed the following temporary arrangements in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Right to Work Checks can be carried out via video whilst viewing scanned copies or photos of the appropriate documents.

As of 30th March 2020, the Home Office have updated their guidance for employers carrying out Right to Work Checks during the coronavirus pandemic. It should be noted that checks continue to be necessary and you must continue to check the prescribed documents listed in the Right to Work checks: an employer’s guide.

How can I conduct Right to Work checks using the temporary COVID-19 measures?

  1. Ask your applicant to submit a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents via email or using a mobile app.
  2. Arrange a video call and ask your applicant to hold up the original document to the camera so you can check it against the digital copy you have been sent.
  3. Record the date you made the check and mark it as “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”.
  4. If your applicant has a current Biometric Residence Permit or Biometric Residence Card or status under the EU Settlement Scheme you can use the online Right to Work checking service while doing a video call – the applicant must give you permission to view their details.

What do I need to do once the COVID-19 measures end?

The Home Office will update their guidance when the new measures end. After that date, you should follow the checking process as set out in Right to Work checks: an employer’s guide.

You will be asked to carry out retrospective checks on existing employees who:

  • Started working for you during these measures.
  • Required a follow-up right to work check during these measures. You should mark this check: ‘the individual’s contract commenced on [insert date]. The prescribed right to work check was undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19′.

The retrospective check must be carried out within 8 weeks of the COVID-19 measures ending. Both checks should be kept for your records.

How can uCheck help me with conducting Right to Work checks?

Using our dedicated verification and auditing tool will not only help you stay on top of your compliance obligations; it also gives you helpful guidance along the way to reduce user error. Here are a few of the features:

  • Home Office Compliance – warning emails 30, 14 and 7 days prior to RTW expiry prompting you to conduct a recheck.
  • Data retention compliance controls built in – ensuring documents are retained for as long as they are required, and no longer.
  • Extra verification – integration with specialist systems means passports, biometric residence permits and national ID cards from most countries are verified in a matter of minutes.

We have produced this blog and sent a copy to clients utilising our Right to Work service as we recognise that during challenging times like these you may be too busy to regularly check the GOV.UK website for updates to guidelines.

We hope you have found this blog helpful. If you have any questions or would like further information get in touch with us.

Please click here to see the full Home Office communication on temporary changes to Right to Work checks.

Our blogs are advisory in nature and reflect uCheck Limited’s current thinking about best and common practice in the subjects discussed.

The information contained in our blogs have been provided for information purposes only. This information does not constitute legal, professional, or commercial advice. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the content is up to date, useful and accurate, uCheck gives no guarantees, undertakings, or warranties in this regard, or, for any loss or damage caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with reliance on the use of such information.

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