How to carry out a Right to Work check during the Coronavirus restrictions

On 30 March 2020, the Home Office issued guidance to adjust the standard right to work check requirements during the COVID pandemic.

The acceptable process for undertaking a check had been adjusted to enable it to be carried out safely and in accordance with the public health guidance in place to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus. These provisions will end on 30 September 2022.It is important to keep a record of all checks carried using the adjusted process Employers are not required to conduct retrospective checks to adjusted checks done during the approved dates.  Employers will maintain a statutory excuse against civil penalty for checks undertaken during this period if they were done in the prescribed manner or set out in the COVID-19 adjusted checks guidance. From 1 October 2022 employers will need to resume carrying out manual checks on a worker's RTW documents by meeting face to face, or by undertaking an online check. It is also important to remember that as of 6 April 2022, if the worker has a current Biometric Residence Permit or Biometric Residence Card or status under the EU Settlement Scheme this document cannot be used for a manual right to work check.  The employer  must use the online right to work checking service. Under these circumstances, the prospective employee will need to provide the prospective employer with a share code to enable the employer to access their online immigration status record.If the prospective employee cannot provide their current, valid documents, for example because they have an in time application or appeal which remains outstanding, the employer can use the Home Office Employer Checking Service. If the person has a right to work, the Employer Checking Service will send the employer a 'Positive Verification Notice'. This provides a statutory excuse against a civil penalty for 6 months from the date in the notice.

If you would like to talk through the consequences for your business, please email us and one of our team will get in touch.


The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.