Right to Work Checks: Covid-19 Concession extended to 31 August 2021

05 Jul 2021

Following the announcement regarding the delay of step 4 of the roadmap, the Home Office is extending adjusted right to work (“RTW”) to 31 August 2021 (inclusive). Employers can continue to check employees’ immigration status by using scans or copies of documents and arranging a video call to inspect the original documents on camera. By conducting RTW checks, employers will maintain a defence against a civil penalty for employing a person illegally. The Home Office has released updated advice for employers here and updated its employer’s guide to RTW checks here

From 1 September 2021, employers will be required to conduct RTW checks either face to face with physical document checks or by using the Home Office online service. 

No retrospective checks for Covid-19 adjusted checks 

The Home Office has again confirmed that employers are not required to carry out retrospective checks on those who had a Covid-19 adjusted check between 30 March 2020 and 31 August 2021 (inclusive). Employers will maintain a defence against a civil penalty if the check undertaken during this period was undertaken in the manner prescribed in the Covid-19 adjusted checks guidance.

Online RTW Checks

The online Home Office RTW service may be used during the concession period or as an alternative to physical checks once the concession period ends. To use the service, the employee’s share code may be used on the Home Office site. This service may only be used for individual’s with:
  • A biometric residence permit/card;
  • Status under the EU Settlement Scheme;
  • Status under the points-based immigration system;
  • British National Overseas (BNO) visa; or
  • Frontier workers permit.
The employee’s consent is required to use this service and employers should not discriminate on the basis of whether or not an employee is able or willing to use the online service. Employers may only mandate online checks where the individual is on a digital status only route. 


The extension to the concession is a welcome development for employers who otherwise may have experienced delays to start dates for new joiners if in-person checks were required while guidance to work from home remains in place. The Home Office is currently reviewing the RTW scheme and considering increasing digital checking aspects and implementing specialist technologies. For employers planning to switch to a hybrid or full-time model of remote working, a permanent digital system would be a welcome change. 

Employers are advised during the concession period to review their current recruitment policies to consider asking if an employee has the RTW at the screening stage to allow for time to prepare for the return to in-person checks. However, in order to avoid a claim for discrimination, candidates should not be prevented from proceeding with their application if they do not already have the RTW. If the role is eligible for sponsorship, employers should consider the option of sponsorship for suitable candidates and ask for the relevant documents when the candidate is invited to interview or when the offer of employment is made. Employers are also advised to take the opportunity to review offer letters and contracts of employment to require those subject to immigration control to produce evidence of the RTW on request and to notify the employer of any changes to their immigration status.

For advice and guidance on right to work checks and other business immigration matters, you can contact our business immigration team.

Further reading

Business and divorce: what to know if going into business with your spouse

When going into business with a spouse, you do so without expecting to divorce. However, it is wise to consider this from the outset and plan for it, just in case
Read more Read

Pre-Nuptial Agreements: Part 1 – to have or not to have?

Should you get a Pre-Nuptial Agreement? Nigel Winter discusses the answer to this question in the first of a series of blogs on the subject
Read more Read

US Attorney General Merrick Garland files Anti-Trust Suit against Google

The tech giant is accused of buying up competitors. Google has stated that it does not hold a monopoly in the relevant market
Read more Read

DMH Stallard advises CGR on the acquisition of John Binns & Sons Ltd

Blog, News & PR
“JB Springs is a fantastic opportunity for CGR to establish a first base in the UK. DMH Stallard played a key role helping us to close the deal.”
Read more Read
  • Brighton - Jubilee St

    1 Jubilee Street


    East Sussex

    BN1 1GE

  • Brighton - Old Steine

    47 Old Steine


    East Sussex

    BN1 1NW

  • Gatwick

    Griffin House

    135 High Street


    West Sussex

    RH10 1DQ

  • Guildford

    Wonersh House

    The Guildway

    Old Portsmouth Road



    GU3 1LR

  • Hassocks

    32 Keymer Road


    West Sussex

    BN6 8AL

  • Horsham

    Ridgeland House

    15 Carfax


    West Sussex

    RH12 1DY

  • London

    6 New Street Square

    New Fetter Lane


    EC4A 3BF

  • Make an enquiry

    Make an enquiry


    Or head to our Contact us page