UK: Right to Work Checks Rules Updated

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

Key Points

  • Under the temporary changes that were instated on Mar. 30, 2020, employers have been able to carry out document checks through video calls and document scans instead of seeing original documents
  • Starting on Apr. 5, 2022, employers must check the employee’s physical documents to verify right to work status. An online sharecode can also be used
  • If a prospective or existing employee is unable to provide necessary documents, employers can use the UK’s Employer Checking Service
  • Starting Apr. 5, 2022, certain exceptions are available for some online right to work checks.  For example, if an employee holds an online status under the EU Settlement Scheme or a Biometric Residence Permit and can provide a share code, physical document verification isn’t required


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the U.K. Home Office instituted a temporary change to the right to work procedures, which allowed the right to work checks to be carried out over video. The UK Home Office has announced on Apr. 5, 2022, video calls will no longer be allowed and standards will reset to pre-pandemic requirements. This date was previously June 20, 2021 but has since been updated to Apr. 5, 2022. Facing staff shortages in most industries, the decision to extend this deadline will allow employers to quickly and safely hire staff.

What are the Changes?

The rules for employers conducting right to work checks are reverting to pre-pandemic expectations. Please note that the U.K. Home office did announce that employers were going to have to perform retroactive right to work checks but they have since retracted this statement. The temporary date was updated from May 16, 2021 to June 20, 2021.

Looking Ahead

Employers should expect to have in-person right to work checks in the future and should implement the appropriate processes to do so.


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