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.
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
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