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Amended right to work checks extended

View profile for Rianna Billington
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Amended right to work checks extended

The Government announced on 12 May 2021 that the amended right to work check measures will remain in place until 20 June 2021.

This is a welcome extension given that the amended measures were previously due to end on 16 May 2021. This would have meant that from 17 May 2021, the pre-Covid measures would apply. 

The original timescale was concerning to many employers, given that the majority of the workforce is still working from home and interviews are being held virtually in line with guidance.

The amended measures mean that employers are able to carry out right to work checks over video calls and accept scanned documents of identification, as opposed to face-to-face checks and the need to see original documents.

The Government has again reiterated that after the measures revert back there will not be a requirement to carry out retrospective checks. This means that if an employer carried out checks using the amended measures between 30 March 2020 (when the amendments were put in place) and 20 June 2021 (unless extended again), they will maintain a defence against civil penalty.

For more information, please visit the GOV website

Verification arrangements for DBS checks

Under temporary arrangements for Covid-19, for Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) purposes, employers may check identity documents over video link and use scanned documents in urgent cases only. Normal identity checks should be used (seeing original documents) in all other cases. Where the temporary arrangements are used, original versions should be provided when the individual first attends the workplace. In short, original documents should be seen for the purposes of DBS checks. We are not aware of any official end date to these temporary arrangements for DBS purposes.

 

25 June 2021 UPDATE
here has been a further extension of the adjusted right to work check measures. These were initially due to end on 20 June 2021 but will now end on 31 August 2021, following the Government’s announcement to push back “freedom day”.

The temporary changes have been in place since March 2020 and allow checks to be carried out over video calls and for applicants to send scanned documents rather than sending the originals.

Unless there is to be a further extension, from 1 September 2021, the measures will revert back to normal meaning that employers must once again check original documents only and carry out face to face checks.

Employers will maintain a statutory defence against a civil penalty if an adjusted right to work check was carried out up until 31 August 2021. The Government has also reconfirmed that it will not be necessary to carry out retrospective checks on employees who had adjusted checks carried out on them once the measures revert back to normal.

If you are hiring staff and would like advice from our specialist employment solicitors, I can be contacted on 01245 453812 or rianna.billington@birkettlong.co.uk.

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