Physical right to work checks to return

21 April 2021


  • Government right to work checks guidance has been updated to confirm that the temporary adjustments introduced because of coronavirus will end on 16 May 2021.
  • From 17 May 2021 an employer must, once again, check the original documents as set out in the Home Office’s Employer's Guide to right to work checks.
  • This means when carrying out a right to work check, employers must be in possession of the original documents rather than accepting scanned/photo copies.
  • Employers may also check the applicant’s right to work online, however use of this method is limited to certain visa types and the employer must have access to the individual’s right to work share code.
  • Until 16 May 2021 employers may still use the adjustments that have been in place since 30 March 2020 which are;
    • checks can be carried out over video calls
    • employers can accept scanned documents or photos of documents, rather than originals
    • employers should use the Employer Checking Service if a prospective or existing employee cannot provide any of the accepted documents


Aspire comment:

Whilst this update shows that the UK may be on the path to return to normality in the workplace, the changes may come as a blow to some employers who may not have returned to ‘on site’ working and will now need to make arrangements to obtain original documents, despite still working in a limited capacity / with workplace restrictions.