It’s official: the deadline for remote right to work checks to be valid has been extended again, to 5 April 2022.
Since last March employers have been allowed to carry out their legally mandated right to work checks via video with job applicants and existing workers able to send scanned documents or photos of their documents to employers. This was a temporary change to the process as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, from 6 April 2022, the process will revert to what it was before and employers must once again either:
- Check the applicant’s original documents
- Check the applicant’s right to work online via the Government portal (link here), if they have provided the employer with their share code.
The Home Office’s stated aim is to eventually introduce a new digital right to work check system which will allow for checks to be conducted remotely but with sufficient security. Reading between the lines, this is clearly not anticipated to be in place before 6 April 2022, which is why the previous process will revert in the meantime.
As most employers will already know, the sanctions for failing to carry out valid right to work checks can be severe and include both civil (up to £20,000 per individual who does not have the right to work) and criminal penalties (a possible unlimited fine or up to 6 months’ imprisonment). Therefore, employers should diarise 6 April 2022 so that they can ensure they are compliant with the legal requirements in place at all times.