Immigration update – temporary changes to right to work checks will end on 16 May 2021

On 20 April 2021, the government confirmed that employers conducting right to work checks under the temporary adjustments due to Covid-19 (i.e. accepting scanned documents with a video call) will end on 16 May 2021. After this time, employers must revert back to either seeing original documents or undertaking an online right to work check to retain their statutory excuse to a civil penalty.

In a welcome U-turn for employers, the government's latest guidance also confirmed that employers will not be required to carry out retrospective checks where a right to work check was carried out between 30 March 2020 and 16 May 2021, in accordance with the adjusted Covid-19 concession. Employers will therefore maintain a defence against a civil penalty if that check was undertaken in the correctly adjusted manner. Previously the guidance had suggested an eight week window to conduct follow up checks. This is one less administrative burden for employers in these difficult times.

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