Right to work checks: what are the changes coming this year?



Read time
4 mins

New right to work guidance from the Home Office comes into action this year and affects how employers verify ID documents, both digitally and manually. The latest government announcement has two key dates – 1 October and 6 April 2022

From 1 October 2022, employers will no longer be able to use the temporary Covid-adjusted right to work guidance. This means that they won’t be able to ask employees to share a scanned copy or photo of their documents and then confirm their identity over a video call.

From 6 April 2022, the updated guidance states that Biometric Residence Permits (BRP), Biometric Residence Cards (BRC) or Frontier Worker Permits (FWP) are no longer acceptable as proof of right to work. BRC, BRP and FWP holders will need to evidence their right to work using the Home Office online checking service. From this date, employers can start to make digital identity checks on holders of in-date British and Irish passports as long as they use an accredited Identity Service Provider (IDSP).

Following the popularity of remote checks, the new digital scheme offers a secure, accurate – and permanently available – option to employers as long as organisations use an accredited IDSP.


What is a right to work check?

A right to work check is a legal requirement for employers to verify the lawful immigration status of job applicants prior to employment. Failure to do so may result in the employer being liable for a civil penalty. Without a statutory defence, criminal penalties for hiring an illegal worker can include a jail term of five years and/or an unlimited fine.

From 1 October 2022, there will be two types of right to work checks: a digital check (via an IDSP or the Home Office checking service) and a manual check (in person). The type of check employers are required to conduct will depend on the status of the job applicant. 

What’s changing with right to work checks in the UK?

For British and Irish citizens:

  • From 6 April, British and Irish biometric passports and Irish passport cards can be digitally checked through an accredited IDSP
  • Out-of-date British and Irish passports are not permitted for digital checks​ but can be accepted as evidence of right to work if they are checked manually

For non-British and Irish citizens with eVisas:

  • The right to work status must be confirmed by the Home Office via a right to work share code check 
  • From 6 April, BRCs and BRPs are no longer permitted as evidence of right to work

For everyone else, you can continue with remote checks and video calls until 1 October 2022 and after that date, you will need to see an original document.

Employers’ right to work check requirements

Employers who wish to introduce the digital right to work scheme and carry out right to work checks digitally and remotely on UK and Irish in-date passport holders will need to use an accredited IDSP. The IDSP will need to meet Good Practice Guide 45 (GPG 45) Medium Level of Confidence. Employers will no longer be able to verify any right to work documents remotely over video call, and must either choose digital checks for eligible applicants or return to checking documents in person. 

After all digital ID checks (in-date British/Irish or eVisa), an employer must confirm the candidate’s identity either via video call or in person after the pre employment check and before employment commences. 

How we can assist

Document validation doesn’t always go smoothly. To streamline this process, Ciphr has partnered with TrustID who have achieved GPG 45 MLoC and are an IDSP working towards accreditation for the right to work digital scheme. TrustID’s digital and non-digital checks also integrate seamlessly with our HR and recruitment software.

Our highly configurable set of services also offer the additional integration of Experian for candidate background checks. Book a demo today if you’d like more information on how Ciphr and TrustID can help you conduct secure and accurate right to work checks.