Employment Law: Right to Work Changes | October 2022

Employment Law: Right to Work Changes | October 2022

As part of the government’s response to COVID-19, they introduced temporary adjustments to the right to work process. These changes have now been revoked as of 30 September 2022.

The adjustments were introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic which meant that meeting candidates face-to-face was no longer possible. These temporary changes allowed employers to continue to conduct right to work checks remotely via video call, or to accept scanned copies or photographs of documentation in lieu of originals.

As of 1st October 2022, these temporary changes have now been cancelled and the way right to work checks are conducted has now changed. Employers are advised to check the government website for details on what these changes mean to them: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-right-to-work-checks#online-right-to-work-service

Suspension During an Investigation – Revised ACAS Advice

Furthermore, ACAS has recently published new advice on how to consider and handle staff suspensions at work. Under normal circumstances, a suspension is when an employer tells an employee to temporarily stop carrying out work and this should only be done in the following circumstances;

  • suspending an employee while they carry out an investigation, if it's a serious situation and there's no alternative
  • medical suspension or pregnancy suspension to protect an employee's health and safety

ACAS underpin this new guidance with tips on how employers can support their employees' mental health and wellbeing as well as alternative options to suspension that may be more appropriate.

The advice is that an employer should consider each situation carefully before deciding whether a suspension is necessary and it is usually best to only use suspension in serious circumstances where there are no alternative. The alternatives highlighted by ACAS are as follows:

  • Temporary change of shifts
  • Work in a different part of the organisation
  • Work from home
  • Work from a different office or site
  • Stop doing part of their job – for example stop handling stock if you're investigating stock going missing
  • Work with different customers or away from customers – for example if you're investigating a serious complaint from a customer
  • Stop using a specific system or tool – for example removing access to the organisation's finance system if you're investigating a large amount of missing money

Whilst many use suspension as a last resort and consider each case on its own merits, going forward it will be important for employers to consider the ACAS advice for any future cases. The full guidance/advice can be found at: https://www.acas.org.uk/suspension-during-an-investigation

NB: The above information is for general guidance only and is not legal advice. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law. However, if you have any HR issues on this or any other HR matters and would like to talk them through with our team, please contact us.


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