Skip to main content

An employer’s guide to Right to Work checks

People looking at RtW document

In the biggest change to Right to Work guidance in recent times, in 2022 the Government introduced a digital Right to Work Scheme. This means employers can now make remote identity checks via certified Identity Service Providers (IDSPs) for eligible document holders. As a certified IDSP and leading provider of Right to Work (RtW) services in the UK, we’ve prepared a guide to the latest Right to Work guidance and what it means to you.

Why are Right to Work checks so important?

All employers in the UK, regardless of the size of business or sector they operate in, must ensure that they carry out a Right to Work check on every employee to confirm that they can work in the UK.

It is an offence to employ someone who you knew or had ‘reasonable cause to believe’ did not have the Right to Work in the UK. The penalties around illegal working have significantly increased. However, correctly carrying out the checks required can give you a Statutory Excuse against liability.

Where to find the latest Right to Work guidance

The Government publishes a full guide to Right to Work checks for employers on their website, which we’d recommend regularly checking. You can also sign up for email alerts when things change.

At TrustID, we let our customers know when RtW guidance changes and update our software to keep it in line with the latest requirements.

Latest changes to Right to Work check guidance

The last updated Right to Work check guidance for employers revolves around 2 key dates: 6th April 2022 and 1st October 2022.

From 6th April 2022

The Home Office introduced a new Digital Right to Work check Scheme which allows employers to use Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT) from Identity Service Providers (IDSPs). This Scheme only accepts certain documentation, and companies are recommended to work through a certified IDSP.

From 1st October 2022

Temporary Covid-adjusted checks were introduced in March 2020 to allow for remote Right to Work checks using copies of identity documents and video calls, but these adjustments ended on 1st October 2022.

Since then, employers can choose to introduce digital checks for eligible applicants (the digital Scheme is optional for UK/Irish in-date passport holders), to return to Right to Work checks using physical documents or to combine the two checking methods. Their choice depends on the demographic of their applicants and internal recruitment processes.

More about Digital Right to Work checks

A digital RtW check allows applicants with applicable proof of identity to prove their Right to Work remotely, instead of presenting physical documents to an employer.  Eligible applicants include:

UK & Irish citizens. Under the Digital Scheme, an employer can carry out a Right to Work check on holders of UK & Irish in-date biometric passports using IDVT from an IDSP.

Non-UK/Irish citizens with an eVisa: an applicant with a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account – including those who applied to the EU Settlement scheme – can now demonstrate their immigration status remotely by presenting a Share Code to the employer.

Confirming the identity of your applicant:

If you are making remote, digital checks, you won’t physically see the applicant’s original documents or the person uploading them. To prevent ‘imposter fraud’ where someone uses another person’s legitimate Right to Work evidence, it’s crucial to verify that your employee matches the applicant who was checked. With the UK/Irish digital check Scheme, biometric facial matching through an IDSP is vital.

Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) and Biometric Residence Cards (BRCs):

It’s worth noting that BRPs and BRCs can no longer be accepted as proof of eligibility and have been removed from the list of acceptable documents that can be used by employers to conduct right to work checks.


Interested in finding out more? You can request a copy of our full guide here that details each section further and provides the answers to our frequently asked questions.