0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Forgotten your password?

Covid right to work concessions to end May 2021

26 April 2021

Please note: the information contained in this legal update is correct as of the original date of publication.

The Home Office have announced that it will end their temporary adjustments to the process of checking an individual’s right to work in the UK on 16 May 2021.

In a response to the pandemic, the Covid right to work check adjustments provides employers with a defence against a civil penalty where checks are based on scanned copies or photos of original documents. Checks can be carried out by video link with the original documents in the possession of the individual. Alternatively, the employer may use the Home Offices right to work check tool with individual’s permission while in contact with them over video link.

End of temporary adjustments

From 17 May 2021, employers must once again check an individual’s original documents, rather than scans or photographs of the originals, or use the Home Offices online right to work check tool. Checks must be carried out in the physical presence of the individual or via a live video link while the original documents are in the possession of the employer.

Retrospective checks

The Home Office has confirmed that employers will not be required to carry out full right to work checks retrospectively on those who had a Covid adjusted check was carried out whilst the concessions were in force between 30 March 2020 and 16 May 2021. This reflects length of time the adjusted checked have been in place and supports business during this difficult time.

Employers may continue to use the adjusted process until 16 May 2021 and full details can be found here.

It remains an offence to work illegally in the UK. Any individual identified who is disqualified from working due to their immigration status may be liable to enforcement action.

Therefore, it is also vital employers are comfortable that they have done all the required checks in full compliance, so they have a statutory excuse against illegal working. Businesses which employ individuals they knew or had reasonable cause to believe did not have the right to work in the UK face civil and criminal penalties.

This is particularly important for EU/EEA nationals as they have limited time to secure free movement rights/status under the EU Settlement Scheme and it is uncertain the extent of checks employers will undertake against them.

Focus on...

Legal updates

Right to work: updated guidance 18 June 2021

Reminder for employers that 'An employer's guide to right to work checks' has been updated for the end of the grace period on 30 June 2021.

View

Legal updates

EU Settlement Scheme: deadline to apply 30 June 2021

How organisations can support their EU national employees with EU Settlement Scheme applications with the ‘grace period’ ending 30 June 2021.

View

Legal updates

Budget 2021: New Visas for highly skilled migrants and entrepreneurs

On 3 March 2021, as part of the UK Governments plans to rebuild the UK economy, the Chancellor announced further measures to modernise the UK’s Immigration system.

View

Legal updates

Immigration: statement of changes – March 2021

The Home Office have published a new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules to take effect on 6 April 2021.

View

The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up