The Home Office has just announced an important update regarding Right to Work checks - employers and HR teams need to take note.
In March last year, as a temporary measure in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government announced that Right to Work check could be undertaken without the need to inspect original documentation.
The Home Office has just announced that this temporary measure will end on May 16th 2021. From 17th May 2021 when undertaking Right to Work checks employer's must revert to physically inspecting the candidate’s original ID documentation - meaning these vital checks can no longer be undertaken remotely.
This Home Office update also explains that it is not necessary to undertake retrospective checks, this is a change to what the Home Office had previously communicated. Employers will maintain a defence against a civil penalty if the check undertaken during the period 20 March 2020 to 16th May 2021 was undertaken as set out in accordance with the COVID-19 adjusted checks guidance.
However, whilst holding a statutory excuse there may well be other reasons why employers may still want to conduct retrospective checks and avoid possible exposure i.e. to avoid a situation where an employee is subsequently identified to have no lawful immigration status in the UK and is liable to enforcement action.