Right to work check changing. Be aware!

Right to work rules are changing from 1st October. And employers failing to comply with the new guidelines could face an unwanted fine that can easily be avoided.


In March 2020, temporary COVID-adjusted right to work checks were set up which allowed employers to carry out checks of British and Irish citizens remotely under lockdown restrictions. This concession will no longer be available after 30th September. Which means employers may need to change the way they onboard staff.


To stay compliant with the new rules, here’s some information:


COVID-adjusted checks are no longer acceptable after 30th September

After this time it will no longer be acceptable to look at a picture or a scanned copy of employees’ documents such as a passport.


In addition, employers won’t be able to carry out checks using video calls, emails. There are only two options to check someone’s right to work in the UK


  1. In-person checks

In-person right to work checks will stay the same. So, from 1st October employers will be able to complete a manual check of British and Irish citizens’ original documents.


  1. Digital right to work check using an IDSP

For digital checks the government recommends using a certified identity service provider (IDSP). To do this, the candidate will need to provide an image of a valid British or Irish passport. An IDSP then carries out checks digitally on behalf of the employer.

A list of certified IDSPs is available on the official government website by clicking on this link https://rb.gy/d995zc

Employers need to keep records of the digital check for up to two years after an employee leaves the company.


How are right to work checks changing for foreign nationals?

Right to work checks can only be carried out digitally using an IDSP on British and Irish citizens.

For foreign nationals, a manual check or an online check using the Home Office’s free online checking service, is required.


Failure to comply with the new guidelines means..

Employers could receive a fine of up to £20,000 for each employee not checked in line with the rules and there may even be a criminal conviction for failure to comply.



  1. Ensure that internal policies and processes are up to date. Do not leave a right to work check until the employee’s first day. This should be part of your pre employment checks.
  2. Include a right to work clause in the offer letter and employment contracts. So, if the employee doesn’t have the right to work in the UK, the contract can be terminated.
  3. Update the onboarding process and existing policy are updated with immediate effect.


If you need any assistance or further advice please do contact us on enquiries@121hrsolutions.co.uk or call our free helpline 0800 9995 121

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