What you need to know about the temporary changes for UK’s Right to Work

Due to the current crisis, we have had to change how we interview. Video interviewing has become an essential part of the process. On 30th March the government made some changes to their Right to Work guidance. Please bear in mind these changes are temporary.

  • Checks can now be carried out over video calls
  • Applicants can send scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks
  • Employers should use the Employer Checking Service if a prospective or existing employee cannot provide any of the accepted documents

It is still a necessity for employers to make these checks to ensure employees have the right to work in the UK as it is an offence to knowingly employ anyone who does not have the right to work in the UK.

How do you conduct a right to work check with these measures?

  • You can ask the applicant to submit a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents, this is preferably done using a secure file transfer program but can be done via email
  • Ask the interviewee to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents during a video interview
  • Record the date you made the check and mark it as “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”

What if they don’t have their documents?

Contact the Home Office Employer Checking Service. If the person has a right to work, the Employer Checking Service will send you a ‘Positive Verification Notice’. This provides you with a statutory excuse for 6 months from the date in the notice.

It is important to take extra care to ensure no-one is discriminated against as an applicant or employee if they are unable to show you their documents.

Don’t forget!

These measures are temporary so you will eventually be asked to carry out the Right to Work checks within 8 weeks of COVID-19 measures ending should you employ someone during this period.

If you want to find out more on the government's guidelines visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-right-to-work-checks

Want a free solution to stay compliant?

If this seems like a daunting task, don’t worry! Our friends at uComply have released uAuthenticate Web an amazing and FREE cloud portal which will walk you through the process and it will even alert you when these measures are removed giving you plenty of time to complete the retrospective face-to-face inspections.


uAuthenticate features:

  • Documents submitted remotely & uploaded to a candidate record on an encrypted (UK hosted) online storage database.
  • Ensures the person presenting the documents on the video call is captured and asks the user to confirm that it is the same image shown on the document
  • Tells the recruiter if all of the relevant documents have been uploaded
  • Ensures candidates remotely recruited are marked as “Adjusted check undertaken on [DATE] due to COVID-19”
  • Prompts for uploads from the governments online checking services providing the candidate has given you permission (e.g. Biometric Residence Permits/Cards or EU Settlement Scheme participants)


So, if you want the easiest solution to staying compliant this is it!

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