UK employers are required to comply with all immigration regulations and Home Office guidance, including the requirement to conduct Right to Work Checks before employment commences. The Home Office have a prescriptive checking service which includes checking a prospective employees required documents in their presence and date stamping the copy documents to confirm when the Right to Work Check was completed. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Home Office have made a number of changes to the Right to Work requirements and currently, they have issued a concession which allows employers to check digital documents and carry out a video check instead of checking a persons documents physically in their presence. This concession has now been extended to 31 August 2021.
From 1 September 2021, employers will be expected to revert to the previous checking requirements.
Last month, the Home Office also updated their Employer Guidance and one significant change regarding Right to Work Checks is in relation to employing European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals. From yesterday, 1 July 2021, such nationals are no longer able to rely upon their passport or identity card in order to prove a right to work in the UK and they will need to show, for example, the grant of Settled or Pre-Settled Status under the Home Office EU Settlement Scheme or a visa which enables them to work in the UK such as a Spouse or Skilled Worker permit.
Most EEA / Swiss nationals should be able to demonstrate their right to work in the UK using the Home Office online Employer Checking Service and individuals who have a visa in their passport enabling them to work, will need to present this to their prospective employer, before the employment commences.