As a result of the government’s announcement on 14 June 2021 to extend the date for the easing of lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures, the temporary COVID-19 adjusted right to work checks will now end on 31 August 2021. From 1 September 2021, employers will revert to face-to-face and physical document checks as set out in legislation and guidance. This will ensure employers have sufficient notice to put measures in place to enable face-to-face document checks.

From 1 September 2021, the process for employers completing right to work checks on EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens will change.  

The deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) by EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 is 30 June 2021.

From 1 July 2021, employers will no longer be able to accept the passports or ID cards of EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens as valid proof of right to work.

There are two types of right to work checks: a manual check and an online check. The type of check conducted will depend on the status of the individual being employed, and in some circumstances, the individual’s preference.

An online right to work check is required for individuals who only hold digital proof of their immigration status in the UK. This includes most EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens and will entail a simple check of their digital immigration status by their employer.

To carry out an online right to work check, an employer will need the applicant’s date of birth and their share code, which they will have obtained online. Employers can then complete the check online by visiting the checker tool

A right to work check must be carried out for every individual employed. Employers can face a civil penalty of up to £20,000 for each employed illegal worker who does not have the right to work in the UK and where correct checks were not undertaken.

There is no requirement for employers to undertake a retrospective check on EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens who entered their employment before 1 July 2021.

Employers will maintain a continuous statutory excuse against liability for a civil penalty if the initial checks were undertaken in line with legislation and guidance.   

Updated guidance on how to conduct a right to work check from 1 July 2021 and lists of acceptable documents can be found on GOV.UK. This includes additions of the following documents:

Irish passport or passport card

  • Frontier Worker Permit
  • Documents issued by the Crown Dependencies EU Settlement Schemes, when verified by the relevant Home Office checking service.
  • Certificate of Application or document issued by the EU Settlement Schemes, confirming an application made by the 30 June deadline and verified by the relevant Home Office checking service.

There is now 2 weeks left to the deadline for applications to the EUSS, please do continue to remind staff to apply to the scheme by 30 June 2020.  

There is provision to accept applications after the deadline but there must be reasonable grounds for missing the applications deadline – again further info can be found on the government website.