Right to work checks are being extended until 31 August 2021

Employers must ensure that every employee has the right to work in the UK. Right to work checks must be carried out before an employee starts working for you. The documents you need to see depend on the basis on which the employee has the right to work in the UK and typically include the employee’s passport and, where appropriate, evidence of their right to work – for example, this may be a visa or residence permit or, from 1 July, evidence of Set-tled or Pre-Settled Status.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the government adjusted the rules to enable employers to carry out these rights to work checks remotely, by using video calls and allowing employees to submit scanned copies of their identification. As we progress along the government’s roadmap towards the lifting of restrictions later this month, these adjusted rules are due to come to an end.

As a result of the Prime Minister’s announcement on 14 June 2021 to extend the date for the easing of lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures, the temporary COVID-19 adjusted right to work checks will now end on 31 August 2021. The latest guidance is that from 1 September 2021 remote checks will no longer provide an employer with the statutory defence and must take place in person, requiring the employer to meet with its new employ-ee, inspect their passport and right to work documents, and take their own copy of those documents for the employee’s personnel file, as it did before the pandemic.

The guidance also confirms that retrospective checks for any new employees that joined your business between 30 March 2020 and 31 August 2021 will not be required.