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The employment of someone not legally entitled to work in the UK is an illegal offence which carries a heavy fine if found guilty. An employer’s defence against any potential civil penalty is to carry out documentary checks on all potential employees prior to employment.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic the government adjusted the right to work checks on 30 March 2020 to allow employers to accept scanned copies of documents instead of originals and to conduct face-to-face checks via video calls. These adjustments were due to end on 16 May 2021 however, they have now been extended until 20 June 2021.

Where prospective or existing employees are unable to provide the necessary documents, employers should use the Employer Checking Service.

Where the worker holds a current Biometric Residence Permit or Biometric Residence Card or has been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme or the points-based immigration system, the employer can use the online right to work checking service while conducting a video call with the worker.  However, the worker must give their employer permission to view their details first by providing a share code.

When the easement rules end on 21 June 2021, employers will not be required to carry out retrospective checks on workers who fell under the temporary rules between 30 March 2020 and 20 June 2021 (inclusive). For further click here.

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