On 30 March 2020, the Home Office introduced temporary measures to allow employers to:
- conduct document verification as part of a video call
- ask applicants/existing workers to send scanned documents or a photograph of documents for checking via email or mobile app
- record on file (eg using ESR) that checks have carried out "adjusted checks on [date] due to COVID-19"
- if the worker has a biometric residence permit/card or status under the EU settlement scheme, checks can be conducted using the Home Office's online right to work checking service while doing a video call - permission must be sought from the applicant.
We would recommend that the verification of identity and requirements to apply for a DBS check are conducted at the same time as the right to work check, to remove any unnecessary requirements for applicants to present documentary evidence.
The online checking process does not negate the need for employers to see and verify original documentation at the earliest opportunity. Employers should continue to refer to Home Office guidance to ensure they remain compliant with immigration rules on checking right to work during the pandemic emergency.
Our section on overseas skilled supply provides the latest information about changes to the immigration rules which will have a significant impact on what you need to check and verify as part of your right to work check. It includes information about visa extensions in-country, what's required for those coming through the temporary registers, arrangements for language and skills testing for overseas trained professionals, and quarantine rules.