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COVID-19 Licensing Issues – changes to right to work checks Published Date: 31/03/2020

The Home Office has announced temporary changes to right to work checks in response to Covid-19.

It announced today (31/03/2020) that right to work checks have been temporarily adjusted due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

As of 30 March 2020 the following temporary changes have been made:

·         checks can now be carried out over video calls

·         scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than sending originals, will be acceptable

·         the Employer Checking Service should be used for prospective or existing persons who cannot provide any of the accepted documents

The Home Office confirmed that right to work checks “continue to be necessary” in accordance with the relevant guidance.

The Home Office further advised that conducting right to work checks during the temporary COVID-19:

·         Ask the worker to submit a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents via email or using a mobile app

·         Arrange a video call with the worker – ask them to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents

·         Record the date you made the check and mark it as “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”

·         If the worker has a current Biometric Residence Permit or Biometric Residence Card or status under the EU Settlement Scheme you can use the online right to work checking service while doing a video call - the applicant must give you permission to view their details

Whilst the guidance is in the context of employment, it will equally apply to licensing requirement under the Licensing Act and for taxi/PH licensing.