After making temporary changes to the Right to Work Scheme in March 2020, the Government announced that these changes will end this year. They originally expected these changes to be made from 17th May 2021 but thankfully after considering the current restrictions in place, the Government has decided to delay this change to 21st June. In addition, employers are now expected to check applicants original rights-to-work documents in accordance with the Employer’s Guide from the 21st June.

The temporary changes allowed employers to check a possible employees right to work online. This meant that candidates were expected to send a scanned copy through email and held up the original document to the camera during a virtual meeting. From 21st June, candidates are expected to provide physical copies of their documents and employers must check this face-to-face. The employer will then scan the documents, record the date of the check and keep this on file to prove their right to work.

What is The Right to Work Scheme?

The Right to Work Scheme is a Government process to ensure that all employees have the right to work in the UK before they start working for a business.

Documents you must check as an employer depends on the circumstances of the employee you are welcoming to the team. However, documents you must check can include:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Biometric residence permits
  • National identity card
  • Birth certificate

Retrospective Checks

It’s important to note that you will not need to carry out retrospective checks on any employee you welcomed to the team between 30th March 2020 to 20th June 2021. However, any candidate after 21st June must go through the updated Right to Work Check scheme.

In addition, you will maintain a defence against a civil penalty if the check you have completed during the 30th March 2020 to 16th May 2021 was completed as set out in the COVID-19 adjusted checks guidance.

It’s important you adhere to these changes as it remains an offence to work illegally in the UK. Furthermore, business owners can face a penalty under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 of up to £20,000 per employee if the document check have not been checked in the correct manner.

The Right to Work Scheme has been a big part of international employment for a very long time and we are sure many employers are fully aware of what the scheme expected before the pandemic. However, It’s important you stay on top of these changes to ensure you’re fully compliant. One change to keep in mind is that these checks are now extended to EU nationals at the end of the EU Settlement Scheme on 30th June 2021. You can find out more about the Right to Work Scheme changes by heading over to the GOV.UK website. Take a look HERE

If you would like any further support or information on the Right to Work Scheme changes, contact us now on 01383 668178.

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