Right To Work Checks (Updated Guidance - September 2022)

Updated Guidance - September 2022

Over the past couple of years during Covid19, a temporary measure for right to work checks was put in place to reduce the need for people interaction and to support remote working.

As of 1st October 2022, the temporary digital right to work checks can no longer be used.

Employers will need to use one of the following options to carry out a legally compliant right to work check:

  • A face to face right to work check
  • Engage an identity service provider (IDSP) to complete digital checks
  • A Home Office online right to work check.

Right to work checks should be carried out before an employee's first day to ensure that they're eligible to work within the UK before engaging in any work.

For British and Irish Citizens

If you carry out face to face right to work checks at the moment, you don’t need to change anything! You can read more below about how to carry out a face to face check.

As right to work checks should be carried out prior to employment, we would recommend that you incorporate this into the recruitment process and take evidence of right to work at interview stage.

If you carry out digital checks, you can engage with an IDSP (see more information below) who can complete a digital check on your behalf.

For overseas workers

You will need to use the online checking service via the Home Office for all other employees.

This service does not require a physical check of documents as the information is provided in real time directly from the Home Office systems. The checks can be carried out by video call.

How do you carry out a face to face right to work check?

Face to face checks must take place in person whereby the candidate provides you with evidence of their right to work in the UK. A list of acceptable documents can be found here, and they must be the original version. Scans or copies cannot be accepted.

Employers need to take copies of the original version and follow the steps below:

  • make a copy that cannot be changed, for example a photocopy
  • make sure the copy is clear enough to read
  • for passports, copy any page with the expiry date and applicant’s details (for example nationality, date of birth and photograph) including endorsements, for example a work visa
  • for all other documents you must make a complete copy
  • keep copies during the applicant’s employment and for 2 years after they stop working for you
  • record the date the check was made

What is an IDSP?

A new digital solution has been introduced which will replace the temporary digital checks that have been allowed during the pandemic. An IDSP is an identity service provider who can complete a digital check on behalf of the employer for candidates who are British or Irish citizens.The government have issued a list of certified IDSP's which can be found here

Home Office online checks

The online checking service via the Home Office should be used for non-EEA nationals who hold biometric residence permits or biometric residence cards and EEA nationals who have been granted settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme who have the right to work within the UK.

What will happen if you continue to carry out your own digital checks?

All employers have an obligation to correctly check that their employees or workers are eligible to work within the UK. If you employ an illegal worker and the correct right to work check hasn't been carried out, you could face a civil penalty of up £20,000 per employee, risk to sponsor licence or, in extreme cases, criminal prosecution.

If you need any further advice or support with carrying out a legally compliant right to work check, please get in touch and we would be happy to help!