Well, I am back after a week off in the glorious sunshine last week – what a treat! Sunshine, pubs and shops back open and generally more of a feeling of normality. That theme continues in my tip-bit today…

Around the start of the restrictions last year, the government suspended the requirement for employers to carry out right to work checks on original documentation. This took effect from 30 March 2020. It allowed employers to carry out a soft copy checks of right to work documentation, meaning they could request a scanned copy of the original from their employees. You still had to verify the authenticity of the document via video call, but it removed the need to see actual physical copies “in your hand”.

This was only ever meant as a temporary measure, and sure enough, yesterday we were told that these temporary right to work checks will come to an end on 16 May 2021. This means that from 17 May 2021 onwards we are back to “normal” for right to work checks.

What does this mean for you? Well, you have to check an individual’s right to work document prior to them starting work for you. Alternatively (if applicable) you can still use the electronic right to work portal to verify that individual’s right to work.

Originally the government said that the temporary “soft-copy” checks would have to subsequently backed up with retrospective hard copy checks. However, nobody anticipated the period would go on for as long as it did. So in their updated guidance, the government have said that if you have any individuals who you performed a soft-copy check of their right to work documents, between the period of 30 March 2020 and 16 May 2021, you will not be required to do a retrospective check on their original documentation. So this is good news, but take this time to check that any soft-copy checks you did, were done so precisely in line with the government guidance at the time, otherwise you may be caught out!

If you have any questions on this, give me a bell on 01332 378311