The COVID-19 concession on Right-to-Work checks in the UK ends on 17 May 2021

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10
May

The COVID-19 concession on Right-to-Work checks in the UK ends on 17 May 2021

Complygate offers right-to-work check solutions that can help companies ensure compliance with UK rules and regulations which can prevent them from being penalised.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made numerous changes to our day to day lives and the way we work, on 30 March 2020 due to Covid-19 some short-term changes were put into place for the right to work check that will stay in place until 16 May 2021. These changes consisted of submitting scanned copies or photos of a worker's original documents to be sent through email or a mobile app, or the worker to be holding up their original documents through an arranged video call. However, this is going to be changed as it has been indicated from the Home Office guidance.

From 17 May 2021, there will be an update put into place on right-to-work checks. It is key for employers to ensure that their employees' documents are valid, and they have the right to work in the UK.

Requiring employers carry out right-to-work checks on their employees or before they start working. This means checking your employees’ original documents in person or using an online right to work check for employees that have Biometric Residence Permit or if they have status under the EU Settlement Scheme or based system. In situations where employers can't conduct the right to work check in person to check the original documents, the worker/employees must send the original documents via postage. The employer can then carry out the check through a video call.

What will the changes on right-to-work checks processes be from 17 May 2021?

From this date, the following must be taken into place: no acceptance of scanned copies or photo of original documents, employers must have the original documents with them when the right to work checks are being taken place, online rights to work check services can be used as an alternative where you will not need the document physically (Complygate right to work link), checks can be done through video calls and permission must be shared as a share code received by an employee to get access to view their details.

The reason for the changes that were made on 30 March during the Covid-19 pandemic is because carrying out checks and documents through online video calls or digital copies of documents is not sufficient.

For checking the immigration status of EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens and non – EEA citizens there are many different methods and procedures to carry this out.

There are penalties for employing illegal workers.


  • You can get a sentence of 5 years of jail time.
  • And an unlimited fine you must pay when found guilty of employing a person that you knew did not have the right to work within the UK.

Some reason that may have led you to believe that they did not have the right to work within the UK:


  • The person did not have permission to leave or to enter or stay (remain) within the UK;
  • The leave that they had, expired;
  • They did not have permission or allow to do particular types of work in the UK;
  • Incorrection in documents or papers was false.

It is also key for you to check your employees properly; as you can be penalised if you employ a person where you did not carry out the check properly or the correct checks. For each illegal worker that you employ, you can get up to £20,000 civil penalty fine that you may have to pay. When this does happen, you will receive a ‘referral notice’ to make you aware that you are being considered. If found liable you must respond within 28days.

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