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Temporary Right To Work Checks: Extended Again Until 5 April 2022

On 30 March 2020, the Home Office made temporary changes to right to work checks in that they allowed:

  • Checks to be carried out over video calls;
  • Job applicants and existing workers to send scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than sending originals;
  • Employers to use the Home Office Employer Checking Service if a prospective or existing employee could not provide any of the accepted documents.

These temporary changes have been extended on various dates:

  • 17 May 2021
  • 20 June 2021
  • 31 August 2021

The Home Office has confirmed that the temporary checks will now remain in place up to and including 5 April 2022. In their updated Guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): right to work checks it states:

The end date for the temporary adjusted checks has now been deferred to 5 April 2022 (inclusive). We have made the decision to defer the date following the positive feedback we received about the ability to conduct checks remotely. We initiated a review of the availability of specialist technology to support a system of digital right to work checks in the future. The intention is to introduce a new digital solution to include many who are unable to use the Home Office online checking service, including UK and Irish citizens. This will enable checks to continue to be conducted remotely but with enhanced security.”

The full right to work checks only need to be conducted from 6 April 2022.

With the Work from Home message currently still in place in Northern Ireland this will be very welcome news for employers.