Right to Work Checks Altering on 1 October 2022

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How are right to work checks altering on 1 October 2022 and what can employers do to prepare?

A survey of 501 decision-makers in large UK businesses (more than 1,000 employees) by Xydus suggests that half of those are unready for the upcoming changes to right to work checks. Perhaps worse, more than three-quarters were unaware employers could face criminal sanctions (including imprisonment) if right to work regulations were not complied with.

From 1 October 2022 onwards, employers will only be able to use one of three methods of checking an individual’s right to work. That is, an online check, a traditional manual check or by using an Identity Service Provider (IDSP).

Measures were put in place by the government on 30 March 2020 during the pandemic, which allowed checks to be completed by a video call and for scans or photos of documents to be accepted rather than originals. These measures will now end on 30 September 2022.

From 1 October 2022, the check that an employer needs to use will depend upon the immigration status of the individual in question and what type of document they submit. This will be as follows:

Immigration status

Checking method

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), Biometric Residence Card (BRC) and Frontier Worker Permit holders


Those with e-visas (for example, EU Settled Status, EU Pre-settled Status or those who applied for UK immigration permission using the UK Immigration: ID Check app)


Those not eligible for online checks (for example, valid British and Irish passport holders)

Manual or with an IDSP


Online checks will need to be done with Home Office’s right to work check service.

Employers who wish to use a digital verification route instead of manual checks must use an IDSP to verify the right to work. While it’s recommended that such employers use a government-certified IDSP, they can use other providers.

It’s important to get right to work checks correct. Employing an illegal worker can result in civil penalties of up to £20,000 per illegal worker, the loss of the right to sponsor work visa applications for foreign nationals, and even criminal convictions in cases of serious breaches of the rules.

To help prepare for the changes, employers can:

  • Consider how many employees are holding various immigration documents and the rate of staff turnover. This should help decide whether it is worthwhile engaging an IDSP.
  • Consider how manual checks will be completed following the termination of the more lenient and less burdensome measures introduced during the pandemic.
  • Consider introducing an easy-to-follow guide for HR staff conducting the checks. Ensure whoever is conducting checks knows which method to use and what that process involves. For more information, see the Government’s Right to work checks: an employer’s guide.

Contact Our Employment Soliciotrs

If you have any more questions or would like more information regarding the upcoming changes to right to work checks, you can get in touch with our employment team below.

0161 941 4000