Prior to the pandemic, employers were required to undergo physical document checks of an individual's right to work documents as part of their pre-employment checking processes. Those requirements were adjusted during COVID-19: employers were allowed to carry out the necessary checks over video calls and job applicants and existing workers could send scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than sending their original documents.
These temporary arrangements were due to end in April. However, the Home Office has announced that they will remain in place until midnight on Friday 30 September 2022.
The government also announced that they are enabling employers to use Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT) to carry out digital checks on behalf of British and Irish citizens who hold a valid passport, from Wednesday 6 April 2022. The IDVT is an online service that will allow employers (and landlords) to carry out digital identity checks in order to prove an individual’s right to work and right to rent. The IDVT will also allow you to apply for DBS checks and look up criminal records. The IDVT will allow individuals to upload their identification documentation and streamline the document checking process.
Here is what you must do when relying on the adjusted measures:
The adjusted measures include a number of options to assist with the document checking process such as asking individuals to submit scanned copies of their original documents by email or by arranging a video call with the potential employee and checking documents during the call. There is also the option of using a checking service if the individual has a biometric residence permit or if can't show their documents.
After 30 September 2022:
- You do not need to carry out retrospective checks on those who had a COVID-19 adjusted checks between 30 March 2020 and 30 September 2022.
- You will maintain a defence against a civil penalty if the check you have undertaken during this period was carried out in accordance with the adjusted measures guidance.
- 30 September 2022 is the last date in which you can rely on the adjusted measures
- Physical document checks will resume from 1 October 2022
- From 6 April 2022, all biometric card holders will evidence their right to work using the Home Office online service only. You will no longer be able to accept physical cards for the purposes of a right to work check even if it shows a later expiry date.
- Also from 6 April 2022 employers can rely on the IDVT to carry out digital checks on behalf of British and Irish citizens
Our immigration expert, Mandeep Khroud can answer any queries you have about the adjusted measures and help you to put them into practice.