The UK Home Office has announced that from Monday 17 May 2021, the right to work concession allowing employers to conduct checks via video call will end and must return to being held in person.

Temporary measures have been in place since 30 March 2020 to allow employers to conduct right to work checks via video call as a result of lockdown and social distancing measures. The temporary measures allow workers to summit a scanned copy or photo of their identification documents to their employer through email or mobile app.

Once submitted, the employer then conducts a video call with the worker and during the call they are asked to hold up the original documents to the camera and the employer then checks them against the digital documents. All employers must record the date they carry out the call and mark as “adjusted check undertaken on (date of call) due to COVID-19”.

While employers can continue to use this process until 16 May 2021, from 17 May 2021, they must go back to the original method of conducting right to work checks in person on or before the workers first day of employment, in addition to any subsequent checks. For any employee holding Biometric Residence Permits or holding status under the EU Settlement Scheme or the points-based system, the checks can be made online.

If it is still not possible (for legitimate reasons) for an employer to check the workers original documents in person, the worker should post the original documents to the employer. Once in possession of the original documents, the employer then checks the physical documents while conducting a live video call with the worker. The documents should not be checked via a live video link or via a digital copy of the documents.

The Home Office has also confirmed that employers are not required to carry out full right to work checks retrospectively if a COVID-19 adjusted check was carried out between 30 March 2020 and 16 May 2021. If the workers right to work was time-limited, additional checks must be carried out under the normal rules.

For more information on coronavirus support measures for employers and employees, visit the activpayroll latest news page.

For more information on the UK tax and payroll landscape, browse activpayroll’s Global Insight Guide to the United Kingdom.

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