Checking an Employee’s Right to Work in the UK


During the pandemic, the government introduced temporary measures for checking a person’s eligibility to work in the UK remotely, whereby it was acceptable for job applicants / workers to provide the employer with a scanned copy or photograph of their original documents. The employer could then arrange a video call with them and ask them to hold up the original documents to a camera to check them against the digital copy.

The Home Office has announced that the end date for these temporary measures will be the 30th September 2022. Thereafter, employers are required to revert to having sight of the original documents.

How to Conduct Checks

Manual checks can be conducted by first obtaining acceptable documents on the specified lists. For example, British or Irish citizens may provide you with their passport. You must then check the document to satisfy yourself that the prospective employee is the rightful holder of the document(s), i.e., they are genuine documents that have not been tampered with, photos and dates of birth are consistent and match the person’s appearance, expiry dates for permission to work in the UK have not passed, and whether they have any work restrictions. If their name is different in the document(s), further evidence will need to be provided (e.g. marriage certificate, divorce decree absolute, deed poll). Clear photocopies of all documents must be kept securely on file and you must record the date on which you made the check as follows: ‘the date on which this right to work check was made: [Insert Date]’. Full guidance on eligibility to work in the UK, including the lists of acceptable documents and detail around what copies need to be made, can be found on

Those with a Biometric Residence Card (BRC), Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), Frontier Worker Permit (FWP) or status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) can be checked using the Home Office online service. The prospective employee will need to provide you with their ‘share code’ which you can then use to check their right to work online, together with their date of birth. You must check either in person or via video link that the photo matches the person, as well as any work restrictions or expiry dates for their right to work, so follow up checks can be diarised by the end date. You must also retain and securely store evidence confirming the employee’s right to work; this will be the profile page that includes the individual’s photo and date on which the check was conducted.

All evidence of employees’ right to work in the UK must be kept securely for the duration of the employee’s employment and for two years afterwards.

Outsourcing Right to Work Checks

As an alternative to having to carry out right to work checks directly, it is possible to outsource all types of right to work checks (i.e. non-UK and UK residents).  Certain checks can only be caried out by a certified Identity Services Provider (IDSP), and Practical HR can now offer this service working through our IDSP partner.  The service provides organisations with confirmation (or otherwise) of an applicant’s right to work in the UK that meets requirements under legislation. Right to work checks carried out correctly will provide a statutory defence and avoid any home office penalties as the service ensures you easily comply with the regulations. The solution is designed to cater to all right to work checks for non-UK residents and UK residents even if they do not have a current UK passport.

If you would be interested in finding out more about this service, please contact Practical HR.

For further guidance on Eligibility to Work in the UK please visit

For further general HR guidance and information, and HR templates, please visit

Natalie Rodda

If you feel that you need guidance or advice on this matter, please call Practical HR on 01702 216573


Need some advice on this matter?

If you need advice or guidance on the subject matter outlined in the above item, or any other employment matter, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.