During the covid-19 pandemic, temporary measures had been put into place by the Home Office from 30 March 2020 whereby right to work check could be carried out via video conferencing with the applicant or worker to then send a scanned copy or a photograph of the documents by email or a mobile phone app to the employer. They were not required to send in the originals.


When the temporary arrangements were initially introduced, it was stated that additional checks would be required within 8 weeks of the temporary measures coming to an end. It has now been confirmed by the Home Office that these additional checks will not be required and that there will be a statutory defence against civil penalties provided the check was done in the prescribed manner or in line with the Covid-19 adjusted checks guidance.


This temporary arrangement will come to an end on 16 May 2021 and, thereafter, employers must:

  • Check an applicant’s original documents; or,
  • If the application has provided a share code, then can check right to work online.


For further guidance on this, employers should contact the Home Office or a specialist in immigration.