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New guidance: Government adjusts rules on how employers carry out ‘right-to-work’ checks

New government guidance ‘Guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): right to work checks’ adjusts the way employers can carry out right-to-work checks during the COVID-19 pandemic, to cater for employees working from home and/or communicating with others electronically.

May 2020

This update was published in Legal Alert - May 2020

Legal Alert is a monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.

The guidance, which applies from 30 March 2020, allows employers to inspect right-to-work documentation by video link, rather than seeing the originals, both for new workers and on renewal of fixed-term contracts.

Job applicants and existing workers may send scanned documents or a photo of documents using email or a mobile app, rather than sending originals to the employer to view.

There is a specific procedure to be followed, including emailing a scanned version of the relevant document, or sending it via a mobile phone app, and then showing the employer the original document – holding it up to the camera – on the video call so the two can be compared. Employers should record what they have done using the wording ‘adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19.’

Employers may also use the online right-to-work check system during the video call if the worker has a Biometric Residence Permit or Card.

When the lockdown ends, the employer has eight weeks to carry out a further, normal check for everyone previously checked using the adjusted procedure, and record what they have done using the wording ‘the individual’s contract commenced on [insert date]. The prescribed right to work check was undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19.’

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Disclaimer: This article from Atom Content Marketing is for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.

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