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31 March, 2020 Open access

Government announces changes to ‘right to work’ checks in response to coronavirus outbreak

New guidance confirms that checks can be carried out through video calls and that job applicants and exisiting workers can send scanned documents or a photo of documents rather than sending the originals

The government has announced changes to 'right to work' checks in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

In new guidance to employers, the government says that, as of 30 March 2020, the following temporary changes have been made -

The government goes on to advise that -

'Checks continue to be necessary and you must continue to check the prescribed documents listed in right to work checks: an employer’s guide. It remains an offence to knowingly employ anyone who does not have the right to work in the UK.

Because of COVID-19, some individuals may be unable to evidence their right to work. During this period, you must take extra care to ensure no-one is discriminated against as a job applicant or employee because they are unable to show you their documents. For more information, please see the code of practice for employers: avoiding unlawful discrimination while preventing illegal working.'

NB - the government has also announced similar changes to the 'right to rent' scheme.

For more information, see Coronavirus (COVID-19): right to work checks from