Is your business ready for significant changes to right to work checks?

From 6 April 2022 right to work checks will change. A right to work check must be carried about prior to the commencement of employment for all UK employees. If an employee has time limited right to work, a repeat check must be carried out before their current right to work expires.

New digital checks for British and Irish passport holders

Employers will be able to use a certified Identity Service Providers (IDSPs) to carry out digital identity verification as part of a right to work check on British and Irish passport holders. IDSPs are authorised organisations who will check the candidate's or employee's identity, check the genuine nature and validity of their identity document, and confirm that the document belongs to the candidate/employee.There is a charge for using an IDSP. Use of an IDSP is not compulsory; UK employers can continue to undertake a check of a British or Irish national's physical document, such as their passport, to complete a Home Office compliant right to work check.

Biometric Residence Permits, Biometric Residence Cards and Frontier Worker Permits will no longer be accepted for right to work checks

Until 6 April 2022, an employer can undertake a right to work check on a Biometric Residence Permit, Biometric Residence Card or Frontier Worker Permit. Under the new guidance, these documents will be removed from the list of acceptable right to work documents.Employers will need to undertake an online check for candidates/employees who hold one of these documents. The candidate/employee will need to give the employer a share code and their date of birth. The employer will then be able to access the candidate's/employee's immigration portal to check their right to work and keep a record of the check.Employers will no longer be permitted to accept physical cards to complete a compliant right to work check.Any checks undertaken on these cards prior to 6 April 2022 will be accepted and a retrospective check will not be required.

What can your business do to get ready for these changes? 

  1. Check and update right to work policies and procedures. If you would like Freeths to review your revised policies and procedures, please do contact us.
  2. Ensure all personnel involved in right to work checking are advised of the changes. We can provide in house and remote training if required.
  3. If you use a digital process for storing right to work checks on personnel files, add a warning note from 6 April to remind HR colleagues of the changes.
  4. If you outsource right to work checking, ensure your providers are adjusting their processes.

If you would like to know more about any of these changes, or have a specific right to work question, please contact any member of Freeths' immigration team at !


The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.

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